If you have lost a tooth, there are numerous different ways that you can replace it and restore your smile. One of the most popular solutions is dental implants. Dental implants have been used for multiple decades to replace teeth permanently. Despite their popularity, there are still misconceptions about how they work, how they are installed, and how to maintain them. Here is what every patient should know about dental implants.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Every dental implant is composed of three pieces: the post, the abutment, and the crown. The post works by replacing the tooth roots in your mouth. It is anchored into your jawbone via a special procedure. Posts are made of titanium, so they are completely safe and designed to last for the rest of your life.
The next piece of a dental implant is known as the abutment. This covers the portion of the post that is exposed over your gum line. It is where the crown will be installed. Finally, the third piece is a crown. This crown is just like those used to cover up root canals. Your dentist will customize the crown to flawlessly match the surrounding teeth so that your dental implant is virtually invisible.
Are There Advantages to Having a Dental Implant?
Every patient is different, and some have different budgets or preferences than others. However, there are numerous distinct advantages to installing dental implants compared to other methods of replacing teeth, like dentures. Some of the reasons why patients continue to opt for dental implants over other types of tooth replacement include:
- Dental implants blend in with the rest of your teeth flawlessly. Unlike dentures, you do not need to worry about them potentially slipping or shifting in your mouth as you eat and speak. If you are concerned about someone being able to tell that you have a missing tooth, they will not be able to tell if you have a dental implant.
- Dental implants are known for being very comfortable. They look and function virtually the same as your existing teeth. This means that you don’t have to worry about altering your lifestyle or your diet to maintain them. Unfortunately, even if you have your dentures professionally fit by a dentist, it is very rare for them to feel just as comfortable as your natural teeth.
- Even though there is no shame in having missing teeth or dentures, some patients are concerned and self-conscious about needing to remove their dentures to clean them after meals or before they go to bed at night. Because dental implants are installed in your mouth, you never need to worry about taking them out. You will feel more confident in your smile.
- Finally, dental implants are more convenient than dentures. Other than using a different type of floss to clean underneath the implant and remove excess food particles, you do not need to alter your lifestyle or oral care routine in any way. In contrast, dentures will require you to use special cleaning solutions, remove the dentures, and perform more maintenance. If you want the easiest solution to missing teeth that is also permanent, you should choose dental implants.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Thanks to advances in technology and things like bone grafting, virtually anyone can successfully receive a dental implant. If you are not sure whether or not you are a good candidate, your dentist can speak with you to address your concerns. The primary things that will be considered are whether or not you have good oral health and how much jawbone you currently have. A certain amount of jawbone is necessary to support the implant.
If you are concerned that you don’t have enough jawbone, a graft can be performed. Your dentist will inform you whether or not a graft is necessary and take care of the procedure so that you can feel great about your smile again.
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
It is comforting to know that dental implants have some of the highest success rates of all dental and oral health procedures. As long as you are a good candidate and in good health, there is a very high possibility that you will be able to enjoy your dental implant for the rest of your life. On average, dental implants have a success rate of 98%. Your dentist will work with you to ensure that you understand how to care for it during the recovery process and after. We look forward to you being another dental implant success story.