Dental implants are the preferred choice of many patients looking to rebuild their smiles. As the only solution that doesn’t rely on any healthy teeth to support it, dental implants can be used to replace one, some, or all of your severely damaged or missing teeth. Better still, they overcome many of the disadvantages associated with other tooth replacement options such as bridges and dentures. If you are looking to restore the full function of your mouth and the rediscovery of your smile, look no further than dental implants.
Can I have dental implants?
Dental implants aren’t a new innovation, but since they were created, experts have continued to perfect and improve them so that today, they are the most secure, stable, and natural-looking of all tooth replacement devices. They also have the highest success rate of any surgically implanted device at around 98%, provided that they are placed by a trained and experienced dental implant surgeon and that you are deemed a suitable candidate for the procedure.
While most patients are found to be good candidates for dental implants, there are some medical scenarios that could prevent someone from being to undergo the procedure. For example:
- If you have had previously had chemotherapy.
- If you suffer from a chronic illness such as diabetes or leukemia, which could affect your ability to heal following dental implant surgery.
- If you take certain medications.
- If you smoke, since smoking increases your risk of complications, slows down healing, and causes diminished oral health.
All patients must undergo a comprehensive assessment before they can be approved for a dental implant procedure. This will involve your implant surgeon reviewing your oral health, the thickness of your jawbone, the number of implants needed to restore your smile, and your commitment to your oral hygiene. These elements are all crucial to the success of your procedure and the longevity of your implants. For example, if you have an insufficient healthy bone in your jaw, you may need an additional procedure called bone grafting before you can have dental implants placed.
How do dental implants work?
The way that dental implants work is actually very straightforward and takes place over three steps.
- A titanium post is surgically implanted into the bone of your jaw. This will act as the anchor for the visible part of the device – the crown. Since titanium is biocompatible, your body won’t reject it. After the implant post is placed the bone will fuse around it to secure it permanently into your jaw. This process, called osseointegration, takes a number of months, after which time you can move onto the second stage of the process. Implants are usually placed under a combination of local anesthetic and sedation to keep patients calm and comfortable.
- Once the titanium post has healed in place, a special connector called an abutment is placed onto it. This is a minimally invasive procedure performed using local anesthetic.
- Finally, your custom crown is placed onto the abutment, completing your dental implant.
Dental implants can be used to replace single, multiple, or many missing teeth. The number of implant posts needed will vary depending on how many teeth you are having restored, but a full arch of artificial teeth can often be placed on between 4 and 6 implant posts.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
There is a range of benefits associated with dental implants. Some of the key advantages reported by patients include the following:
The ability to eat well and enjoy their food
Most people enjoy their food and want to be able to eat the things that they like the most. This isn’t always possible with conventional tooth replacement solutions, which can slip, move around, or even come out, causing embarrassment. Dental implants are completely stable, enabling you to eat well and enjoy your food without compromises.
Better oral health
Implants can be brushed and flossed just like regular teeth which makes them exceptionally easy to look after. Robust oral hygiene will prevent periodontal disease, which can pose a threat to your natural teeth and even your implants. Your implants will also stimulate the jawbone in the same way that natural tooth roots do, and this can help prevent the bone from deteriorating and the face from changing shape.
Maintain your appearance
You may not realize it, but teeth are actually integral to the structure of your face. When teeth are lost, other teeth may shift and the structure of the lower half of the face can change, collapsing on itself. This can cause wrinkles and folds to develop and jowls to form, all of which can cause us to look older than we really are. However, when dental implants are in place, the neighboring teeth can’t move and the face retains its original structure and form.
Confidence in your smile
Dental implants are more stable, secure, and natural in appearance than any other tooth-replacement device. These benefits help to give patients confidence in their smiles that they can take forward into other areas of their life.
For more information about rebuilding your smile with dental implants, don’t hesitate to speak to our knowledgeable dental implant team.