Tooth loss affects millions of people every day. It’s even worse for those who are missing an entire arch and can’t eat a majority of the foods they used to enjoy. If you’re determining if dental implants re right for you, then you are in luck. While other tooth replacement options offer a band-aid solution, dental implants address the issues you’re facing on a daily basis and then some. To learn more about the process and methods dentist use with implants to replace teeth, keep reading!
Are Implants Ideal for Replacing Teeth?
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to replace one tooth or an entire arch, dental implants can make it happen. It’s important to note that implants do far more than simply replace the crown, as is common for bridges and traditional dentures. Implants are designed to replace the root structure as well, which means you’ll regain your fullest biting strength on top of a restored smile.
If you currently wear a denture, you’ll be happy to learn that dentists don’t need to replace each individual tooth with an implant just to restore your arch. In fact, only four to six implants strategically placed throughout the jaw are needed to anchor a denture.
Implants do not require any special maintenance compared to natural teeth. As long as you brush twice a day, floss daily and visit the dentist once every six months, your implants should last anywhere between 25 years and a lifetime.
What Does the Process Entail?
Implant treatment occurs in three stages: placement, healing and restoration. Each plays a crucial role in helping you rebuild your smile. After you receive a thorough examination to determine your eligibility, the dentist will schedule you for surgery to have the implant placed inside your jaw. After the implant is placed, it can begin the healing stage. This includes the process of osseointegration, which allows the titanium post to naturally integrate with your jaw’s alveolar bone. It also allows for your surrounding gum tissue to heal around the implant.
Once the implant has fully healed, you can begin the restoration phase. A custom-made restoration, whether it’s an implant-retained crown or denture specifically designed to snap onto implants, will be provided. After restoring, the dentist will make sure your bite remains even and provide aftercare instructions.
Am I a Candidate?
Candidates for dental implants need to have good overall oral health before they can start any oral surgery. They should specifically have healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw for the implants to adhere to. If bone volume is too low, a grafting procedure can be performed to help regrow bone lost over time.