Dental implants are the most natural tooth replacement option. It is an effective alternative to bridgework and dentures. Learn more about dental implants so you can make an informed decision.
What Are Dental Implants and How Do They Work?
Dental implants are surgically implanted frames that allow dentists to fix replacement teeth on your jawbones. The implants merge with the jawbone, providing stronger support for artificial teeth. However, dental implants can only be placed if you have healthy gums and enough bone support.
Types of Dental Implants
There are 3 types of dental implants that you can choose from should you decide to get one.
- Endosteal Implants – This is the most common type of implant. The roots of the tooth are replaced with screws, cylinders, or blades composed of titanium. It sticks out of the gum to hold the replacement tooth.
- Subperiosteal Implants – This type of implant uses a metal structure that sits beneath the gum line and secures the jawbone. This dental implant is only used if the patient does not have enough jawbone to support an implant or if the patient does not want to have additional dental surgery for a bone graft.
- Zygomatic Implants – This is the most difficult procedure and is only used when there is insufficient bone for an endosteal implant. Instead of being placed on the patient’s jawbone, this implant is placed on the cheekbone.
The Process of Getting Dental Implants
- Dental Exam
You’ll need to have your mouth examined before your dentist will propose a dental implant. Your dentist will order scans of your teeth and bone structure to ensure that they are healthy and sufficient to sustain the dental implants.
- Teeth Removal
After the dentist has cleared you and approved the treatment, the next step will be to remove the teeth that need to be replaced. In addition, if the dentist determines that you lack adequate bone for the implants, he will do a bone graft, which involves harvesting bone from other parts of your body and placing it where your gums need it.
- First Stage of the Surgery
The dentist will place the dental implant in your jawbone during the first step of the procedure. The gums are then stitched back together, and the implants are bonded to the gums and bone after the tissue has healed. Healing can take several months in most cases.
- Second Stage of the Surgery
An abutment is connected to the implant during the second stage. The abutment’s main function is to aid the connection between the replacement tooth and the implant. After the abutment is added, the edges of the gum area are closed. The gum needs to heal which can take around 4 to 6 weeks.
- The Insertion of the Crown
Before the surgery is finished, the dentist inserts the crown. Dental crowns are made to fit your mouth and match the size and colour of the rest of your teeth. Dentists use moulds or digital impressions to create these bespoke crowns.
Caring for Dental Implants
After you get your dental implants, you’ll need to take care very good care of them — like caring for your regular teeth. You have to keep brushing your teeth twice a day. You’ll also have to use an oral irrigator.
For overdentures, you’ll have to remove your dentures daily and you’ll have to soak them in the cleaner recommended by your dentist. Consult with your dentist on how to properly clean your teeth now that you have implants. Always be aware of your overdentures. If you notice something amiss, immediately notify your dentist.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- It Matches Your Natural Teeth
One advantage of dental implants is that they blend in with your natural teeth. Your dentist will tailor your dental implants and crowns to match the shape, colour, and size of your natural teeth.
- You’ll Never Have to Worry About Getting Cavities
You won’t have to worry about cavities because these are artificial teeth. Of course, they still require your attention and care, but these teeth do not decay, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
- It’s a Permanent Solution for Your Teeth Loss Issues
With some dental procedures, they would have to be replaced time and again. But with dental implants, you won’t have to replace them. It’s a permanent solution for your problems.
Avoiding Problems After Getting Dental Implants
Certain problems can arise after getting your dental implants. Here’s what you can do.
- Infection – Although swelling is common after surgery, you must be cautious. It may not be normal and can indicate that your body is fighting an infection. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, depending on the nature of the infection.
- Loose Implant – This is a relatively rare occurrence, but it can happen. The implant may become loose during the healing process. A loose implant could lead to implant rejection. If this happens, make an appointment with your dentist right away to get it removed. Allow 6 months for the area to recover before deciding to have another implant placed.
Dental implants may be able to help you restore your smile and confidence. You’ll need to weigh your selections ahead of time because there are a lot of them to choose from.
Contact Dr. Urszula Barrios if you’d like to learn more about dental implants.