Everything You Need to Know about Dental Implants
If you are like a lot of people you have heard of dental implants before, but you don’t know exactly what they do. When are they appropriate to use? What is the installation process like? Do they look natural, and how long do they last? These are all common questions. And if you have never dealt with dental implants before, you may not have the answers.
To clear up some of that confusion, we have put together this comprehensive guide to dental implants. Dental implants as a treatment option are so effective and useful in so many different scenarios that it is worth understanding. If you or someone you love could benefit from dental implants, you will want to investigate the treatment in depth sooner rather than later. Get a bunch of information below, and rely on Florida Dental Rejuvenation for experience and expertise in dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Every tooth has a root that extends into the jaw bone to keep the tooth firmly in place. The root is the part you see the least, but it is arguably the most important part of the tooth. When someone loses a tooth, one of the hardest parts about the replacement process is replicating the strength and security of the root. That is where dental implants come in.
There are different types of dental implants, but all of them basically try to recreate the function of the root. They keep a false tooth or other implant firmly attached to the jaw so that it looks and performs more like a natural tooth.
The most common types of dental implants create an artificial root in the jawbone that a replacement tooth simply screws into. Another type of dental implants places a small cage around the jaw bone that the tooth then connects to. The best way to determine which type of dental implants are right for you is to consult with a doctor at Florida Dental Rejuvenation.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
If you are lucky and diligent, you will never need dental implants. Proper care of your teeth will prevent many of the problems that commonly lead to tooth loss and problems with the gums and jaw. But even if you are diligent about brushing or flossing there is always the chance that trauma or accidental injury will lead to problems with your oral health. That is why all patients need to be informed about dental implants, even if they have pearly whites.
The primary purpose of dental implants is to replace missing teeth. It could be just one tooth, several in a row, or several spread throughout the mouth. Regardless of the reason, the tooth is missing; dental implants may be able to serve as a replacement. Patients of all ages from the very young to the elderly are eligible. The best way to determine if you or a family member could benefit from dental implants is to consult with an expert from Florida Dental Rejuvenation.
What is Involved with Dental Implants?
You have probably picked up by now that installing dental implants is not a simple procedure. It is typically performed as an outpatient surgery in several stages:
- If a damaged tooth needs to be removed, it will be extracted, and the area around the jaw will be cleaned out.
- The jawbone is prepared for surgery. If there is not enough bone matter at the implant site, it may need to be harvested from another bone and implanted in the jaw to give the dental implants the right purchase.
- A post is implanted into the jaw. This post is like a slender shaft that the dental implant can screw into and stay firmly connected to the jaw.
- You rest for weeks or months. The post needs time to heal and fully set in place before dental implants can be connected.
- The oral surgeon attaches the abutment which has the dental implant attached. The implant perfectly mimics the shape and color of a real tooth.
From beginning to end this process can take months. One the low end it could take three months, and on the high end it could take up to nine months. Usually, several trips to a surgeon are required overall. Most of the time is spent healing and adjusting. A doctor at Florida Dental Rejuvenation can estimate how long your dental implants procedure will take and what exactly will be involved.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
As you are probably aware, dental implants are not the only way to mask the appearance of a missing tooth. There are other methods that cost a lot less, take a lot less time, and involve a lot less surgery and pain. But that does not mean they are better options necessarily. And they have some drawbacks that are important to consider. Keep in mind that dental implants have become popular in recent years specifically because they deliver the kind of looks and performance that patients are looking for. These are some of the most distinct advantages:
- Natural Looks – Even up close it is basically impossible to distinguish the look of dental implants from natural teeth. Over time they actually fuse to your jawbone, so they become just like one of the teeth you were born with.
- Better Speech – One of the most frustrating things about wearing dentures is that they can slip around in the mouth and cause you to mumble or slur your speech. Dental implants hold firmly into place so that you speak without impediments.
- Improved Comfort – Dentures can also become uncomfortable to wear over the long term. The poor fit proves to be a constant distraction and annoyance. And slippage in the mouth can lead to sores and irritation. Since dental implants stay exactly where they are supposed to be this does not become an issue.
- Simpler Eating – Chewing and swallowing are when dentures become a real impediment. Some patients find that eating becomes an annoying battle. Additionally, there are some foods like apples and corn on the cob that patients with dentures frequently avoid entirely. No matter what you are eating or how hard you are chewing, dental implants stay in place and cause no pain.
- Superior Self Esteem – Dentures fix the embarrassment of having a missing tooth. But awkward, unnatural looking dentures don’t lead to total confidence about ones smile. Since dental implants are so realistic looking and integrate so seamlessly with your natural teeth, you don’t have to worry about how natural your smile may or may not look!
- Enhanced Durability – Alternatives to dental implants can bend, break, chip, and discolor with frustrating ease. Since dental implants are made of a powerful synthetic material and anchored so securely into the jaw they offer perfect performance for years after being installed.
- Greater Convenience – Properly caring for dentures is a daily chore. And if you do not stay on top of it your expensive dentures can quickly become damaged. Plus, dentures only cover up the missing teeth, which means you are simply hiding a problem rather than correcting it. Dental implants require no extra care. And since they function just like a natural tooth, there is never a time when you are reminded of your missing tooth again.
Long-Term Care of Dental Implants
If you are going to begin relying on dental implants, you want them to look and function as intended for years, even decades after your initial procedure. Luckily, dental implants are incredibly easy to care for, especially compared to the alternatives.
For the most part, you simply need to care for your dental implants in the same way you care for the rest of your teeth. Thoroughly brush and floss on a daily basis, and you are probably fine. Your doctor may recommend that you irrigate the implant site using a water pick or other device, but that is a mild inconvenience and only necessary for some patients. If properly cared for, you can expect your dental implants to perform without incident for years to come.
Investigate Dental Implants at Florida Dental Rejuvenation
If you think dental implants might be the treatment option you have been searching for, the first step is to schedule a consultation. A doctor who has experience with dental implants will examine your teeth, gums, and jaw and determine if you are a candidate. If so you will learn a lot more what is involved and how you can prepare. If you are not a candidate, the doctor will recommend a preferred course of treatment. When you are ready to schedule this consultation, call the team at Florida Dental Rejuvenation at 561-203-4716.