If you are missing a tooth or teeth, you’ll want to consider a replacement option. Not only can a missing tooth or teeth be unsightly, but they can also be a major oral health issue. When you are considering your options for a replacement, there are a couple of choices that include dentures and implants. For a more permanent solution, you’ll want to consider dental implants.
A dental implant is a dental prosthetic that requires the placement of a metal rod that holds a false crown in place via an abutment. While dental implants are often used to replace one tooth, they also may be used to replace multiple teeth.
Dental implants have a lot of advantages that you’ll want to consider. Some of these advantages include:
· Strength and durability. Dental implants are extremely tough. They are made with durable material, and they are held in place with titanium rods. Because of this, patients find that they can continue to eat their favorite foods without worrying about damaging the prosthetic. Because they are so durable, they are also long-lasting—which is great when it comes to convenience and cost.
· Security. Traditional dentures aren’t very secure. They tend to slip around, which can make it difficult to speak, chew, and more. Dental implants are fused to the jawbone and are extremely secure.
· Protecting surrounding teeth. Something many people don’t consider when it comes to having a missing tooth or teeth is the effect on the surrounding teeth. Over time, your healthy teeth may start to migrate or shift if you don’t have a replacement holding them in place. This leads to the impacting of other teeth and crowding. Not only does this cause damage to healthy teeth, but it can also make oral care more difficult. It’s harder to floss when teeth are crowded, and it may be difficult to reach certain places when brushing. Because of this, your teeth may build up plaque and tartar, which leads to gum disease and decay. From there, you’ll need to undergo oral health procedures to reverse the damage. These repairs can add up over time and end up costing quite a lot of money.
· Appearance. Everyone likes having a full smile. It has been shown that smiling can actually improve your mood, which is good for your mental health. A full smile also boosts your confidence. Dental implants give you back your smile, and they blend in well with the surrounding teeth. It’s unlikely anyone will even notice that you have a false tooth!
The dental implant procedure begins with a visit to the dentist. Your dentist will take a look at the gap in your teeth and will run tests to see if you are a good candidate for dental implants. This includes an oral exam and x-rays. Your dentist will want to see if your jawbone is able to handle the procedure and if other procedures will be necessary in order to place the implants.
If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, your dentist will take a look at the tooth and see if it can be repaired. Dentists tend to prefer to save part of a tooth and repair any damage. This may mean a partial replacement. If your tooth is beyond saving, though, they will extract the remainder of the tooth.
Once your dentist has determined that you are a good candidate for dental implants, they’ll schedule an appointment with you for the first step of the procedure. If your jawbone needs some restoration, this will be the first part. If not, they will place the implant in your jawbone. Once your implant has been placed, around six to twelve weeks will be given for the implant to fuse with your jawbone. It’s important for the implant to be secure before the prosthetic is placed.
Once your dentist is confident that your implant is fused properly, they will place an abutment and a dental crown (false tooth).
Caring for your dental implant is very similar to caring for a natural tooth. Sure, your implant isn’t going to suffer from decay, but the surrounding teeth can. Also, the gums around your dental implant can still become infected and can develop gum disease. In order to care for your implant, make sure that you continue to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth twice a day, every day.
Your dental crown is strong, but it isn’t invincible. Just like with natural teeth, you can crack and otherwise damage your dental implant. If you notice a crack or other damage to the crown, don’t wait for it to get worse! Instead, schedule an appointment with your dentist so they can fix the issue.
Whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants depends on a few factors—like the health of your remaining tooth if it’s still there, your jawbone integrity, your insurance coverage, and more. While you may be physically able to handle the placement of a dental implant, your insurance may not cover the procedure. You’ll then need to see if there is an out-of-pocket option available for you.
Dental implants are an excellent tooth-replacement option. They offer stability, strength, durability, and an excellent appearance. While the cost may be a bit higher upfront, they last a long time. This makes them a great long-term investment. Dental implants will also help with the health of the surrounding teeth, which ends up saving you money on oral healthcare procedures in the future.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, or if you have a damaged tooth or multiple damaged teeth, contact your dentist today about options for the repair or replacement of that tooth or teeth. They will then take a look at the area and determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.