Dental implants are titanium posts surgically fixed into the jawbone beneath the gum line. These posts serve as artificial tooth roots for custom-made replacement teeth that are designed to look like your natural teeth.
Unlike dentures, dental implants fuse with your jawbone so they feel and function like real teeth. That means you can speak, eat, and engage in other daily activities without the embarrassment of missing teeth or the hassle of sliding dentures.
What is implant dentistry?
Implant dentistry is a form of dental treatment dealing with artificial tooth roots, which are inserted into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants provide a permanent, natural-looking solution for patients who have lost one or more teeth.
Dental implant procedures are normally performed by prosthodontists or periodontists, which are dentists with specialized training in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. During the procedure, an artificial tooth root, made from titanium alloy, is positioned in the jawbone. This serves as a sturdy base for supporting artificial teeth, also known as crowns. With proper care, these implants could potentially last a lifetime.
Who needs a dental implant procedure?
Dental implants are ideal for people who suffer from tooth loss. This may be due to conditions like tooth decay, periodontitis, or injury. Because the implants are permanent fixtures, they can be brushed and flossed just like ordinary teeth. They’re a great option for those with active lifestyles. They’re also a great option for those who want a great smile without the inconvenience of dentures.
In general, dental implants are safe for anyone healthy enough to undergo an oral surgery procedure. However, you’ll need to see your dentist to verify that your gums are healthy, and that you have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant. Your dentist will also ask about your medical history to ensure there are no risk factors that can lead to complications during and after the procedure.
What is the process for dental implant procedure?
To begin a dental implant treatment, you’ll need to see your dentist, who will perform a comprehensive dental exam, including dental X-rays and impressions of your teeth. These impressions will be used to create the artificial teeth that will be fitted over your implant.
Your dentist will also review your medical history to ensure that you’re a good candidate for dental implant surgery. Afterward, you’ll be referred to a team of specialists, which may include a periodontist and a prosthodontist who specialize in artificial teeth.
While a dental implant procedure may sound scary, there are several pain management options available. These include sedation, local anesthesia, and general anesthesia. Your oral surgeon will help you determine the best option for you. They will provide pre-surgery instructions depending on which type of anesthesia you choose. Any pain after the procedure can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol.
To begin the procedure, your dentist will insert a titanium rod in your jawbone. This serves as a base for the artificial tooth. Once the jawbone heals, it will fuse around the metal rod and permanently anchor it in your jaw. At that point, your dentist will attach an abutment to the rod, which will hold the new tooth securely in place.
Because your implant is a part of your jawbone, your replacement teeth will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.
Read More: Dental Implant Treatment Timeline
Are dental implants or dentures better?
Dental implants have many advantages over dentures, including:
- Improved fit and comfort. Since dental implants are a part of you, they feel and function like your real teeth.
- Convenience. Dental implants are permanent fixtures in your mouth and they do not require removal or messy adhesives.
- Better oral health. Dental implants don’t require altering or reducing your other teeth. By leaving more of your teeth intact, you’ll have improved oral health in the long run. Implants also provide easier access in between your teeth, allowing for better oral hygiene.
- Improved functionality. Sliding dentures can cause problems with your speech and make it difficult to chew. Because dental implants function like your own teeth, they won’t slip within your mouth and cause you to slur your words. You’ll also be able to eat all your favorite foods with comfort and confidence.
- Improved Facial and Bone Structure. Once the implant fuses with your jawbone, it will help preserve the bone and prevent long-term deterioration. This can help your jaw maintain its natural shape and structure throughout your life.
- Durability. Since dental implants are made from titanium alloy, they’re extremely durable. With proper care, most implants last a lifetime
- More self-confidence. Dental implants can give you back the smile you had before your tooth loss. They also spare you the embarrassment of slipping and sliding dentures during your daily activities.
Easy care for dental implants
Caring for dental implants is as easy as caring for your natural teeth. That means brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, ideally when you wake up and when you go to bed. By flossing once a day, you will remove food particles that get stuck between your teeth.
Along with good oral hygiene, you’ll need to see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning. As long as you follow these steps, your dental implants should last you for the rest of your life.
How much do dental implants cost?
How much an implant costs depends on a few factors. These factors include the number of implants you need and whether dental implants are covered by your medical insurance. Dental implants, however, are the more affordable alternative to dentures since they can last a lifetime with proper care. Dentures, on the other hand, need replacement every 5 years on average, since your gums may shrink or change shape throughout the years. Dental implants also help prevent bone degeneration in the gums, which may require costly dental procedures down the road.
Schedule a dental implant checkup today!
Interested in learning about whether a dental implant is right for you? Contact the highly-trained dental professionals at EON Clinics. We are a one-stop shop for all dental implant needs at clinics throughout Chicagoland and in southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. Schedule a free consultation online today or call us at 844-365-7645.