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Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that 52% of people in the 20-to-64 age range are missing at least one tooth. Among those in the 40-to-64 age range, 66% are missing one or more of their teeth. Additionally, about 20% of people aged 65 and older have experienced complete tooth loss.

Whether you’ve lost one tooth or more to an illness, injury or tooth decay, dental implants could be the solution for restoring your smile. With information about your general and oral health and the ability of your jaw to support implants, your dentist can help you decide if they’re right for you.

Dental Implants: What Are They?

For replacing missing teeth, dental implants are a long-lasting solution that feel, function and look like your real teeth. They appeal to people who are uncomfortable with bridges or dentures and who want to keep their bone structure healthy. Implants are available in two types: subperiosteal and endosteal. Endosteal implants are set within the jawbone, while subperiosteal implants are set under the gum and above the jawbone. Either type of tooth implants has three parts:

Body: Officially called a post, this part looks like a screw and is secured underneath your gum line. It’s made of durable titanium, which is lightweight and almost never rejected by the body.
Abutment: This part sits right above your gum line, serving as a connector for the crown. It screws into the post.
Crown: Sometimes referred to as the prosthesis, this is the visible part that’s fastened to the abutment. It’s made to match the color, shape and size of your other teeth.

How Do Tooth Implants Work?

Tooth implant posts are like imitation dental roots because they integrate with your jawbone to create a sturdy foundation for the crowns. Each one provides enough support so that one or multiple crowns can be connected via a dental bridge.

What Steps Are Involved in the Dental Implants Procedure?

Tooth implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable dental procedures. It’s usually performed on an outpatient basis in multiple stages over several months. The reason is that your gums and jawbone need time to heal in between some of the steps. If you need a damaged tooth removed, for instance, your jawbone will need to heal before the post is inserted.
Performing a Bone Graft

If you have a weak jaw or some of your jawbone has deteriorated, you might require a bone graft to get dental implants. The graft will make your jawbone sturdy enough to hold the post and will increase the chances of the surgery being successful. The dentist may use a bone substitute that encourages bone growth or use bone from elsewhere on your body. A minor graft could be completed during the surgery, while an extensive graft might take months.

Inserting the Implant

When it’s time for your surgery, the dentist will make an incision in your gum tissue to expose the bone. Next, a hole will be drilled deep into your jawbone so that the post can be inserted. Finally, the dentist will stitch the incision closed. You’ll require several months of healing time while your bone grows around and bonds to the implant.

Fastening the Abutment

When your post and jawbone have fused together, your dentist can secure the abutment with a minor surgical procedure. It involves reopening the gums so that the implant is exposed a little. After the abutment is in place, the dentist will close your gums around it but leave the top sticking out. Next, your gums will take a couple of months to heal.

Securing the Crown

After your gums have healed the second time, the dentist will make impressions of your real teeth and mouth in order to have a crown created. A removable crown will snap onto the abutment and can be removed daily for cleaning, while a fixed crown will be cemented or screwed onto the abutment.

What Happens After Getting Tooth Implants?

After your dental implant procedure, you’ll probably have some minor pain, bleeding, swelling and bruising, which is common after any dental surgery. To reduce the swelling and pain, your dentist may provide aids, advice and a medication prescription.

Are There Benefits and Drawbacks of Dental Implants?

If you’re looking for tooth replacement options, dental implants are an excellent choice. Even though they offer numerous advantages, you also should learn about the disadvantages.

The Benefits

Comfort: Since your jawbone grows around dental implants, they can provide a level of comfort that’s unmatched by traditional dentures.

Convenience: You don’t need adhesives for implants since they’re permanent.

Improved Speech: With implants, it’s easy to talk clearly since they’re designed to fit correctly and stay in place.

Natural Appearance: Implants are impressive clones of real teeth because they’re customized for each person.

Optimal Dental Health: You can care for implants like you do your real teeth.

Durability: With good dental hygiene, implants can last the rest of your life.

The Drawbacks

Cost: One implant can cost thousands of dollars, and some dental insurers won’t cover it. However, payment options offered by your dentist can make it affordable.

Surgery: There’s always some risk with surgical procedures, including jaw fractions, tooth damage, complications, nerve damage and infections. Some people experience side effects from the anesthesia.

Future Expenses: Implant crowns might need to be replaced, which might not be covered by insurance and could become costly.

Time: Generally, it takes several months to finish the tooth implant process.

Can Local Dentists Offer Assistance?

Special training and experience is required to perform the tooth implants procedure. Dentists have to evaluate the density and viability of your jaw correctly to support the posts and to insert them precisely. Choosing a trustworthy, board-certified professional who has these credentials is ideal.

Our dental practice provides budget-friendly, compassionate oral care with a variety of services, including tooth implants. Schedule your consultation today.

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