Dental implants are a revolutionary tooth replacement solution. Implants address the loss of all a tooth’s structure by replacing the lost roots with a dental implant and attaching permanent restorations like dental crowns or bridges to abutments on implants.
Unlike removable prosthetic teeth such as full and partial dentures, dental implants (once stabilized) will not move or slide during oral function. This means that patients with dental implants enjoy a well-balanced diet that can include tough or chewy foods. Additionally, dental implants support the oral health system by keeping vital structure like bone and gums active.
Replacing lost teeth is very important. Foregoing treatment for tooth loss is bad for your oral health and quality of life. When we lose teeth, we have a higher risk for further tooth loss. This is because teeth require support to stay upright. If a tooth is next to an empty tooth socket, it can slide out of place. Losing teeth also means that bone will atrophy due to a lack of stimulation. Lastly, living with missing teeth is very difficult. Many people with incomplete smiles suffer with a reduced sense of self-worth and are prone to depression and social isolation. The truth is that losing teeth in adulthood is traumatic. This is why our dentists at A House Full of Smiles treat tooth loss with compassion and high-quality prosthetics.
How Dental Implants Work
All other types of replacement teeth rely on the arch of the jaw or other teeth to stay in place. Moreover, other types of prosthetics only replace the visible structures of missing teeth. Since other prosthetics overlook lost root structure, dental implants are incredibly unique because they serve as prosthetic bases for restorations.
The process begins with a consultation. After it is determined that a patient is a suitable candidate for dental implants, an appointment for implantation will be scheduled. The implantation process means that the dental implant(s) will be inserted into the jawbone via the empty tooth socket. After placement, patients will undergo a recovery phase of treatment that is required for the implant to stabilize. A dental implant becomes stable once bone fuses around it. Much like bone supports the roots of teeth and vice versa, bone will become a dental implant’s support structure. Once the bone has fused around the implant through a natural process called osseointegration, the dental implant can hold a permanent restoration and the tooth replacement process is complete.
Why Dental Implants?
Since dental implants are permanently embedded into bone, they will not move when eating or speaking. They will also last for decades, if not longer. An added benefit to using bone as the support structure for dental implants is a reduced risk for bone loss. Dental implants keep bone active and stimulated, which prevents the body from resorbing bone mass.
Fortunately, dental implants are also easy to care for. Considered low maintenance, dental implants are brushed and flossed with the rest of a person’s biological teeth. Soaking solutions, special brushes, and messy adhesives are not needed.
Lastly, those with dental implants can enjoy a complete, beautiful looking smile if natural looking materials are chosen for restorations. When one chooses porcelain or porcelain fused to metal, replacement teeth appear natural and vibrant. The mental health, aesthetic, and social benefits of dental implants are innumerable.
Candidates for Dental Implants
While dental implants are considered the best tooth replacement option, they are not ideal for every patient. Some pre-existing health conditions and lifestyle factors can affect the stability and longevity of dental implants. The best candidates for this tooth replacement method have a history of good oral health and adequate bone mass in the jaw. It is important that patients practice meticulous oral hygiene and receive routine checkups and cleanings since conditions like periodontal disease can threaten the tissues that support dental implants. Smoking is also detrimental to keeping implants stable because there is an increased risk for developing gum disease.
When determining a person’s candidacy for implants, our dentists will perform a thorough oral examination, inquire about one’s health history, and ask questions about one’s lifestyle choices. Diagnostics will need to be taken as well to examine the health of tissues under the surface of teeth and gums. If a patient is not considered a good candidate for dental implants, our staff at A House Full of Smiles will help patients consider their other options.
For more information, call our office to schedule a tooth replacement consultation.