Have you ever thought of how you would look or feel when one or more of your teeth fall out? You don’t want to even think about it, right? I totally understand.
One way to deal with losing a tooth is to get a dental implant. This procedure involves a surgeon or periodontist surgically inserting and fusing an artificial tooth into your jawbone. It is an excellent long-term option for tooth replacement. When you lost a tooth decades ago, you’re only limited to either a fixed bridge or removable dentures. A fixed bridge depends on the neighboring healthy teeth for support and can affect them negatively over time. Removable dentures may slip off or make annoying clicking sounds when you speak.
Today a dental implant (made of titanium metal and fused to the jawbone) is preferred. Unlike fixed bridges which could be removed twice or three times in a lifetime, implants last longer and are rarely ever replaced.
Why do you need an Implant?
Dental implants are used to replace a tooth, several teeth, or entire teeth. The aim of teeth replacement in dentistry is for aesthetics and function restoration. Hence, teeth replacement can be done using any of the options below:
- Dental implant
- Removable dental appliance (partial or complete denture)
- A fixed dental bridge (connected)
Advantages of Implants
The following are the merits of replacing missing tooths using dental implants.
- Implants are beautiful. They are aesthetically superior to dentures and bridges. They are strong, and one can hardly differentiate them from real teeth.
- They don’t place burdens on adjacent teeth.
- Since implants don’t need to be supported by adjacent teeth, they maintain the health and vigor of the entire teeth.
- They build confidence. Remember that awkward feeling you get whenever people laugh at you because one or two of your teeth is missing. Annoying right? There will always be that embarrassment about the weird sounds and slippage of dentures. Implants are different. They will remain firm for decades, giving you maximum confidence when you smile.
- They are reliable. Unlike dentures, you don’t have to worry about your implants falling off. Also, unlike bridges, you don’t have to keep replacing them often.
- They make eating convenient. Chewing food with an implant is equal to eating with your natural teeth. If you are worried about the problems associated with dentures or the several restrictions that come with other teeth replacement options, opt for implants. It allows you to conveniently chew your favorite food, carrots, and other crunchy foods.
What to expect before going for a dental implant?
The dental implant process is not a quick one. You need to prepare for the following.
A dental exam. Examinations and checkups will be made. This could be in the form of X-rays.
Treatment plan. You and your dental provider will have to create a treatment plan. Before the process, your provider needs to consider the conditions of your jawbone and the number of teeth that need replacement. After the procedure, you will be briefed on how to effectively care for your implant – which is basically the same way you care for your regular teeth (brushing and flossing to prevent plague).
Procedure. Implants are fused to the jawbone using several surgical procedures, and the entire process can last for about 3 – 9 months. Although it is time-consuming, most of the period is for healing and allowing the new bone to form in your jaw. During the process:
- A dental implant cylinder is inserted into your jawbone
- You need to heal for several months
- Once you are healed, an abutment is placed, followed by an implant crown or prosthesis.
Pain control. To deal with the procedure’s pain, you will be given anesthesia (be it local, general, or a sedative). Also, someone will have to take you home after the surgical procedure.
It is never too late to take action towards getting a healthy smile. Dental implants have been proven scientifically to stop the adverse effects a missing tooth can have on your dental and medical health. Also, they can improve your life quality. Why not take the next step today and schedule a consultation? Trust me, it’s worth it.