Dental implants are false tooth roots that act as substitutes for missing teeth. They are surgically implanted in the jaw and serve as an anchor for crowns, bridges or dentures. Implants are the best at mimicking the look and feel of the natural teeth. They provide full functionality and are even stronger than the natural teeth. You should get your missing teeth replaced with dental implants because:
- Missing teeth cause the jaw bone to recede. The recession of jawbone causes the facial muscles to sag and makes you look old.
- People with missing teeth have a problem in chewing because the bite becomes uneven. This affects a person's nutrition intake.
- Gaps left by the missing teeth interfere with the speech. You will experience constant lisp while talking. This is harmful to self-esteem.
- Teeth adjacent to the gaps left by missing teeth start drifting and affect the bite. This leads to an asymmetric smile.
Are you the right candidate for dental implants?
During a preliminary examination, your doctor will look through your medical history to determine any serious ailment. You should be in good health to undergo a dental implant installation. X-rays will be used to determine your jawbone density. If you have enough bone structure to support a false root, you are the right candidate for dental implants. Chewing food exercises high pressure on the jaws. If your jawbone is not strong enough to withstand the pressure, implant surgery might fail.
If you lack enough bone structure, your doctor will perform a bone grafting surgery to increase the bone density. A bone transplant will be performed in which a piece of bone, usually from the hip, will be grafted in your jaw. The natural bone grows around the graft and integrates with it.
There is no age limit to get dental implants. Anyone with sufficient bone structure and good general health can undergo the procedure.
What is the procedure to get dental implants?
An X-ray will be performed to locate the place to install the implant. Your doctor will also perform a digital scan of your mouth to generate impressions. Based on these impressions, a prosthetic restoration will be fabricated. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the restoration is custom-made to fit your perfect shade and size. This restoration caps the implant and restores the basic functions of the tooth.
After locating the place to implant the false tooth root, the doctor makes an incision in the gums. The implant is anchored into the jawbone and is secured with stitches. Implants are made of titanium and are easily accepted by the gums and the surrounding bone. Being biocompatible, titanium fuses with the natural bone structure and becomes a part of it. This process of osseointegration takes three to six months and is known as the healing period. During this healing period, your dentist will install a temporary crown to protect the surgical site.
On the day of your second appointment, an abutment will be attached to the titanium root. The final restoration is then bonded to the abutment.
Dental Implants: Aftercare
Dental implant surgery may leave you in minor pain and can cause bleeding and swelling. It is completely normal to experience these symptoms. However, following these aftercare tips will help you maintain your implants better.
- Implant placement surgery is performed under anesthesia. Before consuming any hot foods, wait for the anesthetic to wear off.
- The surgical site may bleed for a few days. Use a gauze pad to bite on to stop the bleeding.
- Your dentist will prescribe some painkillers to subside the pain. Also, continuous use of antibiotics is recommended for a few days to keep the infections at bay.
- Maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing twice a day. Till your surgical site heals, use a soft bristle toothbrush. Also, avoid fiddling with the surgical site.
- Quit smoking to accelerate healing. Smoking can interfere with the healing time and can make it slow.
- Avoid biting on hard substances to prevent the crown and implant from dislodging.
For further queries, visit Nickles Dental or book an appointment with us at (864) 244-3211.