A clean, white and strong set of teeth will not only help you chew your food properly but also enhances your facial appearance. It gives you the ability to speak clearly and smile confidently. But your teeth may fall owing to a number of reasons- age, accident, poor nutrition, and unhealthy habits. But don’t worry if you have missing teeth because there are dental implants that will restore your oral health amazingly. Here’s what you should know about them.
What are dental implants?
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, a dental implant is an artificial tooth that is placed surgically in your mouth. These teeth are made of ceramic and metallic materials that fit well in your jaw. These implants combine with your jaw bone in order to support a bridge, crown or a complete denture. Dental implants are a replacement for weak dental roots and provide a sturdy base for your teeth.
What are the different types of dental implants?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), dental implants are of two types: endosteal implant and subperiosteal implant. While the former is widely used and placed directly into the bone, the latter is placed over the bone of people who have an insufficient bone height or are incapable of wearing dentures. It’s interesting to note that circa 2.3 million crowns supported by implants are made annually. The procedure has shown an incredible success rate of about 98%.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are a common way of replacing missing teeth. But there is a host of benefits you will get from dental implants:
- Enhanced appearance: Dental implants can fill oral gaps and create a natural looking set of teeth. It enhances your overall facial appeal with its realistic look.
- Natural: Dental implants function the same way as natural teeth do. You will be able to chew, talk and smile without the fear of your implant falling off.
- Comfortable and convenient: Dental implants have a non-slip design and are not meant for removal. Hence, you won’t find any discomfort while wearing them.
- Preserves oral health: Dental implants don’t require neighboring teeth to be removed or shifted. Hence, you can have natural-looking teeth without hampering your oral health.
- Long-lasting: Dental implants are made of durable materials. If you take proper care, they can last you for years.
- Boosts your self-esteem: Having a nice set of teeth would boost your self-confidence and self-esteem by improving your facial appearance.
- Cost-effective: Compared to single tooth replacement and multiple teeth replacement, dental bridges and crowns, dental implants are relatively cheaper and money-saving in the long-run.
- Success rate: Dental implants are predictable compared to other procedures because they have a high success rate. They are reliable as a tooth or teeth replacement method.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants, however, require specialized dentists. He or she develops a treatment plan for you and performs the procedure in his or her clinic. The entire procedure involves the following steps:
- Implant placement
The first step that a dentist takes is placing the implant. It’s an in-clinic procedure that involves the use of local anesthesia. The dental implant is placed into the jawbone and you could experience some pain and swelling. Some pain relief medications can help you alleviate the discomfort. While it’s healing, you should eat a soft diet, lukewarm soups, and cold food.
After placing the implant, the dentist usually waits for two to six months before placing an artificial tooth on the implant. During this period, your implant and bone are growing together in a process called osseointegration. Meanwhile, your dentist may give you a temporary denture, bridge or crown to assist you in talking and chewing.
- Fixing your new teeth
While osseointegration is taking place, your dental implant is covered by your gum tissue. The oral surgeon needs to uncover the implant by removing the gum tissue and fix a healing collar before crafting your new teeth. After this, the dentist takes oral impressions and connects the fixtures to the dental implants. This renders a secure attachment to your new set of teeth.
- Caring for your dental implant
If you want your dental implants to last long, you will have to go for regular checkups to your dentist. Regular cleaning and hygiene practices are important for maintaining the health of your dental implants. You should make it a habit to brush your teeth at least twice a day and use dental floss. You should also consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash to keep your mouth free of bacteria.
Are dental implants very painful?
Most people who have received dental implants complain less about pain. They say that they experience very little discomfort during the procedure. Implant experts usually use local anesthesia for the purpose, which makes it possible to perform the procedure without hospitalizing patients. Most patients have even said that getting a dental implant is far less painful than getting a tooth extracted. The mild soreness experienced after the procedure can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relief medications such as Motrin and Tylenol.
What is the quality of dental implants?
Dental implants are a standard option for replacing missing tooth or teeth. They are known for their quality of life. Dental implants have no artificial looks, thus making them almost identical to natural teeth. Dental implant specialists possess the necessary skills to craft implants that are well-suited to your jaw and mouth. In addition, dental implants don’t slip off like traditional dentures. It’s fixed strongly in your mouth. So you don’t have to worry about facing an embarrassing time while eating, talking or laughing.
How do dental implants affect your oral health?
Dental implants may also offer a host of oral health benefits compared to other replacement options. The benefits basically relate to how the dental implant bonds with your jawbone. It reduces slippage that’s common with dentures and also stimulates the formation of a healthy jaw bone. Non-implant options such as dentures cause bone loss because it tricks the body to think that teeth are missing. Besides, unlike dentures, dental implants act like natural teeth and prevent food from wedging in between implants and the gums.
Who should get dental implants?
In most cases, people who are healthy enough to go through an oral surgery or tooth/teeth extraction are good candidates for dental implants. It’s necessary for patients to have healthy gums and strong bone to keep the implant in place. People should also be committed to healthy oral practices and regular visits to the dentist. People suffering from heart disease, diabetes, smoking addiction or who are undergoing radiation therapy need to be evaluated thoroughly before being considered for the procedure. Before plunging into the procedure, it’s recommended that you have a face-to-face discussion with your dentist.
How to choose a dental implant specialist?
You should ensure that the dentist you approach is skilled enough to provide you with quality dental implants. Here are a few factors to consider while choosing a specialist:
- License: You dental implant expert should have a valid dentistry license. This is a fundamental factor that everyone seeking to undergo the procedure should keep in mind.
- Specialization: Dentistry is a broad field. Your implant expert should have education and specialization in dental implants. They should have worked at least 300 hours in implant dentistry.
- Experience: Dental implants are not like any other oral treatment procedure. Your expert should have at least 10 years of experience in the field of dental implants so that he or she is able to handle complex procedures easily.
- Competency: Your expert should show competency in the field of implant dentistry through a peer-evaluated, independent process. They should have the expertise in performing single tooth replacement to multiple teeth replacement. A proven track record will help you make a reliable choice.
Does insurance cover dental implants’ cost?
Although you might be having a medical insurance, it’s not always necessary for dental implants to be covered under it. Generally, medical insurance doesn’t cover dental implants. But you can still seek coverage under a medical plan, depending on your case and insurance plan. It’s advisable that you have a clear chat with your dentist about your needs and insurance. You may also have to approach your insurance provider if you want clarity on a few coverage aspects. This will help you in getting the procedure done without incurring useless costs.
Getting a dental implant requires you to have a thorough discussion with your dentist. The initial cost is only a small part of the details you should consider before proceeding ahead. You should consider the quality, cost-effectiveness and long-term oral health before getting the procedure done.
In addition, you should approach a dental implant expert and not a dental practitioner. This will ensure that the procedure is conducted by somebody competent and well-trained. As a bottom line, dental implants are a great oral treatment to enhance your appearance and maintain your