With implant-supported bridges and custom dentures, you will not hide your smile or wear uncomfortable dentures. Over 5 million United States citizens get dental implants each year. Some find dental implants an effective way to replace missing teeth, while others do not wish to wear uncomfortable dentures for the rest of the lives. People lose teeth through either diseases or accidents, and dental becomes a good option to keep their teeth intact for a long time with good care.
You may talk to your dentist about the various dental implant options if you:
- Want your teeth to remain intact
- Are unhappy with your partial denture that are often removable
- Do not wish to continue wearing uncomfortable dentures
- Have missing teeth preventing you from smiling more often
Most people in contemporary times choose dental implants for different reasons. You can choose to replace one tooth or several teeth. Dentists also have the option for a full set of dentures. They surgically replace the root of one or several teeth in the upper or lower jawbone to satisfy your needs. Implants are a good value, mainly because they are made of a strong, lightweight metal, titanium, that last can last a lifetime and have no side effects because they remain compatible with the bone.
Phases to Getting a Dental Implant
The journey to a long-term option for restoring your smile is done in three phases. However, first, discuss with your dentist about the available options. You may get an alternative treatment option if you are good with your dental hygiene
First Phase: Implant Placement
Once you visit a dentist, he/she will look at your X-ray picture to locate where to place the implant. The dentist will then recommend the best dental implant option for you before proceeding to surgically place the implant into either the lower or upper jawbone. Depending on your health, the dentist may recommend pain medicine to ease discomfort and a diet to aid your healing process. The diet mostly consists of warm soup, soft drinks, and other cold foods to enhance recovery. It is common to experience swelling and soreness.
Phase Two: Healing Process
The second phase encompasses ensuring that the bone around the implant heals in a process commonly known as osseointegration. Dentists often recommend that you remain patient for the implant to combine with the bone for a strong dental implant. Osseointegration often takes time. A patient may have to wait for months for the bone to grow and hold the implant as required. However, other patients opt to have the implant and the artificial tooth placed immediately in a single visit to save time as they wait for the implant to integrate with the rest of the teeth.
Phase Three: Prosthesis Placement (Tooth/Teeth Replacement)
Finally, after successful osseointegration, it is time for the dentist to place the artificial tooth/teeth. The dentist will either design a crown or denture depending on the number of teeth they are implanting. For a single tooth implant, the dentist will customize a dental crown for you. The dental crown will blend with your remaining teeth mainly because the dentist will customize it based on your tooth size, shape, and fit. For those replacing multiple teeth, the dentist will design a denture, which is commonly known as a custom bridge, to fit the implants. Custom-made bridges and crowns may often take time to make. Fortunately, your dentists will give you a temporary crown or denture to help you eat and speak in the meantime. The dentist can later replace the temporary crown or denture with a permanent fit.
Who is a good fit for Dental Implants?
Before scheduling a dental implant surgery, remember that your health remains critical in the healing process. Chronic illnesses, such as leukemia and diabetes, may hinder post-surgery recovery. Nicotine from tobacco may also interfere with the healing process.
Your physician must clear you before you can proceed to dental implant surgery. Besides an individual’s health status, dentists also consider the jaw to ensure that it can support an implant. Fortunately, you can build up your jawbone through sinus lift surgery or a bone graft. Ensure you maintain dental hygiene to reduce the risk of gum diseases affecting the jaw bone that supports the implants.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Besides aiding in filling the gap for missing tooth, the implants prevent the jawbone from shrinking
- Dental implants enhance support to artificial teeth. You do not wish to have tooth/teeth that slip or shift when you speak or eat. As a result, dental implants ensure attached teeth, dentures, and bridges remain firm.
- Implant-supported dentures remain more comfortable than temporary dentures
- Implants last to a lifetime if one maintains high hygiene levels, and hence, they remain a good value for your money.
- Implant-supported bridges and dentures give one a more natural look than typical dentures and bridges.