Having a tooth knocked out can be more than just painful – it can also damage your confidence and make it difficult to speak or eat. If you lose a tooth, it’s important to explore replacement options right away, regardless of the reason. Without treatment, missing teeth can have a plethora of dental consequences. Gaps caused by missing teeth can make your remaining teeth shift out of place, disrupting the alignment of your jaw and ultimately changing your facial appearance.
Dental implants are an increasingly popular tooth loss solution because they look and function very similarly to natural teeth.
There are various types of dental implants, and the kind you need depends on how many teeth are missing and the state of your jawbone.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are small posts that serve as artificial tooth roots, most commonly made from titanium. A dental implant is a comprehensive tooth replacement solution that has three components:
The implant is a titanium rod that’s surgically inserted into the jawbone. The implant provides support for the prosthesis and helps mimic the look and feel of a natural tooth.
Titanium is a safer alternative to other metals because it doesn’t react with our bodies and fuses well with the bone. This provides dental implants with a sturdy grip on the jawbone.
The abutment is a round-shaped connector that screws into the dental implant. This provides support for your replacement teeth or dentures. The abutment is usually installed a few weeks after the implant.
The denture, bridge, or crown
The final stage of a tooth implant is restoration. Depending on the state of your oral health and how many teeth you are missing, your dentist may suggest one of three choices: a denture, bridge, or crown.
What are the different types of implants?
The most commonly used type of implant today is the endosteal implant, which is made from titanium, small screws, and alloplastic material. These implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone, and over time they fuse with the natural bone.
Those with insufficient natural jawbones to support endosteal implants should opt for subperiosteal implants instead. A subperiosteal implant is a metal frame that sits on or above the jawbone and under the gum tissue.
Single tooth implant
Having a single dental implant is the best option when you are only missing one tooth.
A single-tooth implant uses one crown that connects to the implant screw. It improves your smile and your ability to speak and bite.
If you have several teeth missing, an implant-supported bridge is an ideal solution for you. The implant gives support to the bridge. A fixed dental bridge prevents your other teeth from shifting and improves eating and speaking.
All-on-4 dental implants
If you’re looking for a secure way to replace multiple missing teeth, All-on-4 implants are a great option. This solution is designed to simultaneously restore your upper and lower jaw (or both arches). While this is a restoration that will last forever, the overdenture can still be taken out for cleaning and dental check-ups.
What is the dental implant procedure like?
There are five vital steps in the process of getting dental implants, which take a few months altogether. They are as follows:
1. Initial consultation
Your first step is a consultation with your dentist. During this meeting, they will assess your oral health and the condition of your jawbone. If you have untreated gum disease or other dental concerns, you need to take care of them before your dental implant surgery.
Dental implants require a thick, dense jawbone. If your jawbone does not meet this criterion, you may need bone grafting beforehand.
2. Fitting the implant
Dental implants are placed into the gum and jawbone through surgery. After this procedure, the dentist will close the implant site with sutures and disinfect the surrounding area. The patient will recover for several weeks, and the osseointegration process will occur during that time.
3. Tooth implant osseointegration
The osseointegration process is when the jawbone and implant join together. Depending on the patient, this can take anywhere from two to six months. Afterwards, the dental implant will be fitted with an abutment.
4. Fitting the abutment
Although fitting the abutment is not complicated, it necessitates a small incision to remove the healing cap. The gum tissue then heals around the abutment but does not cover it. Your gums will need a couple of weeks to heal.
5. Completing the tooth implant
The next and final step is to complete the tooth implant with a dental crown, bridge, or set of dentures.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
1. Dental implants protect your adjacent teeth
Dental implants don’t need to be attached to other teeth as some tooth replacement options do. Furthermore, they help preserve your healthy teeth and prevent any decay from happening.
2. Dental implants improve your speech
When you have missing or even false teeth, it affects how you speak. With gaps between your teeth, you may start to lisp, while dentures can cause you to slur your words. Dental implants, which can be used for either a crown or dentures, will help keep your restoration in place and enable you to speak just as you would with your natural teeth.
3. Dental implants prevent jaw deterioration
A healthy jawbone requires stimulation from tooth roots. Losing a tooth doesn’t just mean you have one less pearly white. It also means losing the pressure that was being put on your jawbone. When this happens and is left unchecked, your body will start to reabsorb your jawbone for other purposes in a process called remineralization.
Dental implants are a way to artistically fill the gaps in your smile from missing teeth while still providing stimulation to your jawbone, just as a tooth’s root would.
This not only protects your jawbone but also helps to maintain your face shape as you age.
4. Dental implants allow you to eat what you like
Individuals who wear dentures eat soft foods, which is more comfortable than eating something harder. On the other hand, implants can better handle the force from chewing, so you can eat anything you want without restriction, including nuts and crunchy vegetables.
5. Dental implants help to increase your self-confidence
A smile is among the first things others notice about you, so it’s no wonder that gaps in your teeth can cause feelings of self-consciousness. Dental implants can give you a brand-new smile that looks and feels natural. With dental implants, you’ll be able to speak and smile with confidence!
6. Dental implants are low-maintenance
Caring for implants is as easy as caring for your natural teeth–just brush twice daily and floss once. Also, attend regular check-ups with your dentist to maintain oral health.
7. Dental implants look natural
Thanks to recent technological advancements, dental implants are now indistinguishable from real teeth. Your prosthetics are tailor-made for you, so you can confidently show off your smile. Whether you opt for dentures, bridges, or crowns on your implants, nobody can tell which of your teeth are natural and which aren’t!
8. Dental implants eliminate getting cavities
Dental implants are created from a material that doesn’t decompose, so you don’t have to be concerned about developing cavities!
9. Dental implants are durable
Your dental implants can last many years with proper oral hygiene habits. Tooth implants are a long-term investment in your oral health.
How do you properly take care of tooth implants?
Although dental implants don’t require extra care, you must practice proper hygiene through daily brushing and flossing and visit the dentist for regular check-ups. Dentists aren’t just trained to clean your teeth; they’re also able to identify problems you might not be aware of and fix them before they become major issues.
To maintain your dental implants and good oral health, avoid smoking and drinking. Dental implants are built to last, but even they can chip, break, or crack with time. You should maintain your dental implant by avoiding the following habits:
- Crunching on hard candies
- Not using a night guard if you clench your teeth
- Chewing on pencils
- Chewing on ice
To keep your gums and implants clean, use unwaxed tape floss or dental floss made specifically for implants.
By following these steps, you can avoid any discomfort or pain that might come from dental implants. If you have questions about tooth implants or would like to learn more, please contact our dental clinic today! Our dental team would be happy to provide you with extra information and talk about how dental implants can improve your smile.
Is getting dental implants the right choice for you?
Whether you’re young or old, dental implants are a popular way to fill in the gaps for missing teeth. Before undergoing the procedure, there are a few requirements that must be met for it to be successful.
- The density of your bone and the health of your gum tissue will be primary determiners of whether you can get a tooth implant.
- It is vital to visit your dentist regularly and maintain proper oral hygiene.
- You should be prepared for a lengthy treatment process as a complete fusion between implant and jawbone typically takes three to six months.
Get the smile you’ve always wanted
Don’t let gaps in your smile hold you back! With dental implants from DDSS/DDII, you can finally have the beautiful teeth you’ve always wanted. We’ll start by evaluating your dental health and determining if you’re a good candidate for dental implants. With our experienced dentists, you can trust that you’re in the right hands!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Types of Dental Implants
What to know about dental implants