Win your natural smile back! – Celebrating Dental Implant Month

Dental Implants - Celebrating Dental Implant Month

Win your natural smile back!
Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth.
With proper care and hygiene an implant will last many years or even a lifetime.

Dental Implants

Tooth replacement has come a long way since the start of removable or cemented bridges. Implants last longer and are more like the natural tooth they are replacing. If you have a lost a tooth due to decay or gum disease, Implants may serve you very well as a replacement.

Consider not hiding the beautiful smile you were born with. Consider a replacement for your denture or partial denture that you cannot lose. Consider having a tooth replacement that does not reply on support from your other teeth.

Implants are a popular solution to replace only a singe tooth, groups of teeth or even all your teeth. When the bone in your jaw is adequate, they can provide new roots to support any number of teeth that are missing. Made of extremely pure titanium they are compatible with your body just like hip or knee replacements. To make a replacement tooth, the implant is placed into the upper or lower jaw, and once it has healed into position, a tooth is placed on top. Implants have become so popular that more than 10 million are placed around the world every year.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Since strong implants replace damaged natural teeth, they are much stronger. A natural tooth will fracture at 125 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi), while an implant will only start to have problems at a higher 150 psi.
An implant can support a single tooth, a fixed bridge a partial denture or a full denture. Since they are attached firmly to the bone, removable dentures will not move or slide during eating. They are a replacement for damaged teeth that might have been painful to eating or chewing, and as a result you can chew without discomfort. They lend support and wont move, making the feel in your mouth much more secure.

One benefit from implants is the retention of bone. When teeth are extracted, the bone will naturally recede. When an implant is placed, the bone tends to remain place long term. An implant is so advantageous, with the proper care it can last your whole life.

Single Tooth Implants

An advantage of using an implant to replace a single tooth, compared to the old-fashioned bridge is that the implant never needs another tooth next to it to be reshaped permanently in order to support a replacement tooth. This keeps your natural teeth intact and long lasting.

Dental implant and crown

When you dentist tells you should replace a missing tooth, why is this important?

Missing a tooth makes your other teeth work harder and break down sooner. Missing teeth allows food to be trapped and press painfully on your gums during eating. When you are missing teeth it is harder to speak without a lisp or other speech impediment. Teeth usually shift when there is a space, and replacing your missing teeth helps to keep the rest of your teeth in the correct places. Your teeth help support your lips and cheeks. Without teeth faces sag and wrinkles develop, making you look older than your natural age.

Implant-Supported Bridges and Dentures

When you are missing more that one tooth, implants can be placed to replace the teeth and roots that you are missing. For example, a bridge is made when more than one tooth is missing. This usually involves at least two implants and a replacement tooth between the implants. In comparison to a traditional bridge, implant bridges do not need the neighboring teeth for support.

When you are missing all your teeth, an implant supported bridge will replace all the teeth in your arch, with a minimum of 4 or 6 implants. When the implants heal, the bridge does not rock when chewing or feel pain when biting. This is a remarkably wonderful feeling when you have been suffering with dental pain when eating.

What Is Involved in Implant Placement?

Implant therapy is very individual, and there are many types of implant treatment just as there are many types of patients and treatment needs. Implant treatment can be very rapid, taking only a short visit, or for more involved cases it can take several months for healing to take place. Treatment starts with the proper diagnostic records and an evaluation to see where the implant should be placed and how it will benefit you the most.

Following the evaluation and the necessary x rays possibly including a cone beam scan, a surgical visit is planned. A guide helps to make a short and accurate appointment. Following the placement of the implant into the bone, healing is usually rapid and can be virtually painless. Some over the counter anti-inflammatories may be advised as well as antibiotics. Soft foods and avoiding chewing on the implant site are precautions to help with healing.

During healing, the implant has a special surface coating and shape so that bone will knit strongly around it. Time is important in the healing process. Some special implants are healed very rapidly, and some take longer, depending on where they are placed. Temporary bridges or crowns may be able to be placed in the same visit, and final crowns or bridges are placed after a few months of healing.

When the implant has fully healed or integrated, a crown or a bridge is made by a laboratory following an impression or a scan of the implant site by your dentist. The crown or bridge is color matched to fit in with the remaining teeth, or in cases of full replacements, they are made to a color of your choice. Some patients elect to have lighter teeth at this stage. In many cases, a temporary crown or bridge or denture is made before the final prosthesis is completed and delivered to you at the same surgical visit, so you are never without teeth. It is usually possible to have teeth made for temporary use and given to you right after the implants are placed.

Who is the better candidate for Dental Implants?

Your health is important for the healing process, and any medications or chronic health problems should be evaluated by your dentist to make sure that proper healing is likely. If you are in good health in most cases, you can be a good candidate.

The x rays and records taken by your dentist before implants are placed are the best guide to whether implants are a good choice for you. The must be enough bone left in the proper areas to support a healed implant. When bone is missing a graft can be placed to grow more bone.

Some chronic problems or medications may prevent proper healing. Diabetes, leukemia, tobacco use and some medications for osteoporosis may rule out implant placement as a first choice.

When implants are placed, keeping a clean oral environment is especially important. Gum problems caused by poor oral hygiene can shorten the durability of an implant. Your dental visits for cleanings are your best ally to spot and treat preventable problems early.

Some Ideas to Discuss with your Dentist

Make sure all your questions are answered before your implant journey. Bring up alternatives and costs so you are comfortable with the fees and outcome options. Although there are larger fees for implants than fillings, the investment is a sound one since they can last a lifetime.

Make sure that you have your teeth cleaned every 3 to 6 months to ensure that gum disease does not take its toll on your new dental implants. Some of your dental visits will include instruction in proper home care as well as information as to what mouth rinses, floss, and toothpastes to use.

Have the conversation with your dentist so that you may benefit from this wonderful and safe dental procedure to replace teeth in a comfortable, painless, and useful way. You can have a better smile and chew painlessly in less time that you can imagine.