Dental Advice
Dental Implants: Are They a Good Fit for You?

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you might be considering dental implants as a solution. Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. But are they the right choice for you? Let’s explore what dental implants are, their benefits, the procedure, and who makes a good candidate for this treatment.

What Are Dental Implants?Implant vs Natural tooth

A dental implant is a metal screw made of titanium that replaces the root part of a lost tooth. An artificial tooth (crown) is placed on an extension of the screw(abutment) on the dental implant to give it the appearance of a natural tooth. The implant itself is typically made of titanium, which fuses with your jawbone to provide a stable foundation for the replacement tooth.

Who might be suitable for dental implants?

Dental implants are suitable for individuals who have lost one or more teeth due to injury, disease, or decay and have sufficient jawbone to support the implant. Candidates should be in good overall health, have healthy gums, and be committed to maintaining good oral hygiene.

The Procedure

The process of getting dental implants involves several steps and can take several months from start to finish. Here’s a general overview:

  1. Initial Consultation: Your dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam, including X-rays and 3D images, and review your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for implants.
  2. Bone Grafting (if needed): If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need a bone graft before you can have dental implant surgery. This is because the powerful chewing action of your mouth exerts greater pressure on your bone, and the graft can create a more solid base for the implant.
  3. Implant Placement: During the first stage of surgery, the dental implant is placed into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. This process can take several months.
  4. Abutment Placement: Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post (abutment) is attached to the implant to securely hold the new tooth. This step may sometimes be done at the same time as the implant placement.
  5. Artificial Tooth Placement: After your gums heal, your dentist will make impressions of your teeth and create a model of your bite. The new tooth (crown) is based on this model. Once the crown is ready, it is attached to the abutment.
What happens after dental implant placement?

Post-surgery, you will need to follow specific oral hygiene instructions and attend regular dental checkups. It is crucial to keep the implant and surrounding teeth clean to ensure long-term success. Also your dentist might recommend not eating on the surgery site for a specific time.Any pain, looseness, or discomfort should be reported to your dentist immediately.

Benefits of Dental Implants
  • Natural Look and Feel: Implants look and feel like natural teeth. They are designed to fuse with bone, so they become permanent.
  • Durability: Implants are very durable and can last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
  • Improved Oral Health: Unlike a dental bridge, implants do not require reducing other teeth. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
  • Convenience: Implants eliminate the inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
  • Bone Preservation: Implants help prevent bone loss that occurs when teeth are missing, maintaining the structure of your jaw and face.
What are the risks or complications of dental implants?

Like any surgery, dental implant surgery poses some health risks. Problems are rare, though, and when they do occur, they’re usually minor and easily treated. Risks include infection at the implant site, injury, or damage to surrounding structures, nerve damage, and sinus problems.

  • Infection: Post-surgical infections can occur.
  • Nerve Damage: Improper placement can lead to nerve damage.
  • Sinus Issues: Implants in the upper jaw can protrude into the sinus cavity.
  • Implant Failure: Lack of osseo-integration can cause the implant to fail.
  • Success rate of implants are higher in lower arch than upper arch due to bone density.
Who shouldn’t get dental implants?

Individuals with insufficient jawbone, uncontrolled chronic diseases (such as diabetes), heavy smokers, or those undergoing radiation therapy to the head or neck may not be suitable candidates for dental implants. A thorough evaluation by your dentist is necessary to determine eligibility.

How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?

Initial healing from the implant placement can take a few weeks, but complete osseo-integration may take several months. The overall timeline varies depending on individual healing rates and whether additional procedures, like bone grafts, are required. However the procedure is not  very painful post surgery. One or two days of painkillers is usually sufficient for most patients.

Conclusion

Dental implants are a reliable and long-lasting solution for missing teeth, offering numerous benefits over other tooth replacement options. If you think dental implants might be the right choice for you, schedule a consultation with our dental team. We will evaluate your specific needs and help you determine the best course of action to restore your smile and improve your oral health.

For more information or to book an appointment, contact us today!