What is a Dental Implant?Dental implants are, to put it simply, an artificial tooth, similar in shape to a small screw. The implants are placed in the jawbone where they bond with the bone. This leads to a sturdy and stable base that supports one or more artificial teeth, called crowns. This also meant that unlike traditional dentures, dental implants help preserve the bone and so preserve your natural face shape. An abutment is placed on top of the implant. This is a connector between the implant and the crown. This is here to hold and support the crown. The crowns are then custom made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth. Modern implants have a long 30 year history of success, and they are the strongest device to support replacement teeth. What makes them even more spectacular is that they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally. The dental implant surgery is one of the most safe and predictable procedures in dentistry when performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist.
The Process of Getting a Dental ImplantGetting a dental implant begins by a consultation with your dentist. They assess if you have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant. Sometimes a bone graft is needed in order to allow for a strong base of support for the implant. This process may take a number of months of healing and recovery, but once complete, the dentist will generally perform the surgery in one or two sittings, beginning with placing the implant. Then, after some time as passed to allow for some healing, the crown is fitted. The healing process can be lengthy and while it may require some months of discomfort, you are effectively getting your tooth back. Isn’t getting your natural smile restored worth some discomfort?
Top Five Facts about Dental Implants:
- Dental implants have been used for over a thousand years, with the earliest archaeological record being a tooth-like piece of shell that had been hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman. Luckily, dental implants have come a long way since then.
- Dental implants are the only type of dental restoration that actually preserves the natural bone of your jaw! And, it even stimulates bone growth
- In 1951, the AAID – American Academy of Implant Dentistry was founded by a group of dentists who were very successful at placing dental implants. Their mission was to share their knowledge and practice of implantology. The AAID is the first professional organization dedicated to advancing implant dentistry
- Not long after the founding of the AAID, in 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, named P.I. Branemark found that titanium actually fuses with bone, leading to its adoption as the go-to metal for metals from knee and hip replacements to dental implants
- An amazing 3 million people in the United States have implants and that number grows each year by about 500,000.
- Boost your look Dental implants can dramatically improve your appearance by offering a more natural and attractive looking option than removable dentures. What is amazing is that they look and feel just like your natural teeth! Even better, the implants will fuse to the jawbone, so that they are just as permanent as your natural teeth. Worries about slippage, or irritating the gums are gone!
- Improve your confidence Traditional removable dentures can become loose and rock causing embarrassment and difficulty speaking and eating. With dental implants you can enjoy food, chat as much as you’d like, and do all your normal regular activities with confidence and without any sort of fear of embarrassment.
- Experience greater comfort and convenience Removable dentures can cause sore spots by rubbing on the gum beneath them. This is not the case for dental implants. Dental implant supported prostheses do not rub because they are fixed into the jaw, and there is no risk of slippage. Removable dentures must be removed at night and cleaned, and they may need messy adhesives, unlike dental implants which can be brushed like natural teeth, and need no application of adhesives
- Dental implants are durable Dental implants have a high rate of success and are much more durable than dentures. They can last years, or even decades with the right care. If kept clean and well-maintained, they can last a lifetime – just like natural teeth.
- You can improve your ability to eat the foods you used to love Removable dentures slide around, clicking when speaking and slipping when speaking. This can cause once pleasurable activities overly complicated and cause extreme unhappiness. The ability to chew foods improves dramatically when someone has dental implants. Removable dentures are only 20-25% as efficient as natural teeth, whereas dental implants are 80% as efficient as your natural teeth.
- Improve the taste of your foods When you are fitted with a full upper removable denture it covers the roof of the mouth, which makes food more difficult to taste and to enjoy. However, a implant supported prosthesis allow you to enjoy the full flavor and texture of your food without compromise.
- Improve your health and nutrition Food forms the foundation of health, and having an impaired ability to chew and enjoy food, can damage your health. Because you are unable to eat as many foods your health can be severely impacted. Traditional removable dentures can prevent you from eating certain foods, which are required to have a healthy and varied nutrient-filled diet. Chewy, crunchy foods, like vegetables and fruits can become very difficult to eat with a removable dentures. Dental implants make eating them about as easy as with natural teeth.
- You can regain your natural speaking ability Removable dental prosthesis can impede your ability to speak clearly and effectively, negatively impacting all aspects of your life. This can dramatically impact your quality of life in almost every area. A dental implant can help you speak clearly without difficulty and any slippage or popping.
- Lower the chance of losing your dental prostheses Because a dental implant cannot be removed you never even have to worry about losing it. Traditional dentures can become misplaced or lost very easily. You never have to worry about going without the ability to chew or speak clearly and effectively.
- Strengthen the Jaw Bone Your jaw bone will grow around the implants, preserving your natural jaw shape. When a tooth is absent from the jaw the jaw bone will degrade, dramatically altering your natural face. You can keep your natural smile, your natural face – something that removable dentures cannot do for you.
- Get permanent results Other alternatives, such as dentures or crowns, will deteriorate and even break. Because dental implants are anchored directly to the jawbone, proving greater stability and they can last an entire lifetime as long as you provide them with proper care.
- Prevent getting deeper oral health problems Missing teeth can create opportunities for your teeth to shift and these new spaces become a breeding ground for bacteria and cause tooth decay and gum disease. Dental implants eliminate such gaps and hold the surrounding teeth in place. This means you can keep your jaw from shifting and potentially changing your jaw shape.
- More effective oral function Implants hold in place very firmly and this is because they actually fuse to your bone over time, just like as if they are real teeth. The stability provides better functionality than other alternative because you won’t have to worry about changes in speech or an appliance falling out.
- Get back your natural smile An implant can give you back your natural smile without sacrificing the aesthetic quality of your smile. They can also match the color of the implant to the specific color of your teeth, giving you a more natural smile. This allows them to blends seamlessly with your existing teeth.
- A more convenient option Dental implants provide a more permanent solution so you can care for them like your natural teeth. Healthy oral healthy hygiene habits like regular brushing and flossing after meals to remove lingering food particles can let your implants last a lifetime and lessen your daily worries.
Many patience face the decision of whether or not to get a dental implant with a certain amount of fear or confusion. What exactly does that procedure entail? What might you expect? This article will discuss some of the basics about dental implants. If you are left with more questions after the article, give Golden Smiles Dental in Rancho Cucamonga, CA a call to speak with a dentist who can answer your questions. Call us at (909) 481-8990 to set up an appointment today.
The truth about dental implants is that they provide you with much more than a great smile. They can play an integral role in maintaining your oral health. When a tooth is missing, due to decay or loss, dental implants preserve facial structure and prevent the jaw bone from deteriorating. After the loss of a tooth, adjacent teeth can shift and create a gap that becomes a potential breeding ground for bacteria, leading to more infection.
Another option to consider is the cost. While the procedure is usually more expensive than a bridge or a crown, however the results are permanent and do not require much maintenance. The implants are anchored directly into the jaw bone, creating a strong foundation for the artificial teeth. This means that the implant will not require additional maintenance or replacement.
Other factors to consider is that the fear surrounding getting an implant is the biggest obstacle for many. Really, the procedure is a simple one, with the dentist using an anesthetic during the procedure and most patients feel little to no discomfort. Most patients can use over-the counter medications to manage pain following the procedure. This means that dental implants are not as painful as you might expect. A winning smile may be worth the pain.
If a dental implant sounds like a good fit to you, call Golden Smiles Dental in Rancho Cucamonga, CA at (909) 481-8990 a call to speak with a dentist who can answer your questions.
Preparing for the SurgeryThe entire dental implant surgery process often requires more than one surgical procedures, so a thorough evaluation by your dentist is necessary and required to prepare for the process. This evaluation can include any of the following:
- A comprehensive dental exam in which you get x-rays taken and models of your teeth and mouth are made.
- A treatment plan in which all the factors going into your specific treatment is laid out and considered by your dentist.
- Input from dental specialists to assess if a bone graft or other preparatory measures are needed.
How the Surgery is PerformedTypically, a dental implant surgery is an outpatient surgery performed in a few stages. The first step is to remove the damaged tooth or teeth if still present in the jaw. The patient’s jawbone is then made ready for the surgery. This may involve getting a bone graft if the patient’s jaw is too thin, or not hard enough. A bone graft may be necessary because the chewing exerts powerful forces on your jaw and mouth, and if your jaw cannot support the implant, it will very likely fail. A bone graft, generally taken from another part of the body, may require additional months recovery as they wait to have it heal. The next step is to place the metal post of the implant into the jaw. This requires an additional visit if you needed to get a bone graft. Following this is a healing period that may take many months. It is because of this healing period that dental implants are only recommended for patients in good health. The healing process is for the jaw to grow around the implant to secure it into place, just like a natural tooth root is secure in your jaw bone. The length of this process varies depending on the patient. Next, the oral surgeon will place what is called an abutment. An abutment is the part of the implant which allows the crown of your new tooth to be attached to the implant. In some cases, if the jaw is strong enough and the implant is very stable the abutment can be attached at the same time as the implant is placed. Finally, after the soft tissue heals the creation of the new tooth begin after molds of your jaw and teeth are taken. Once the crown is ready, it is placed and now have a brand new tooth! The process takes many months, most of which are devoted to recovery and healing. It is very common to experience significant swelling and discomfort in the area of the surgery. Symptoms can include swelling of the face and of the gum tissue, bruising of the same areas, pain at the implant site, and minor bleeding. Your dentist may prescribe you pain medication to help manage your pain. If the swelling worsens or there is any other problem after the surgery contact your oral surgeon. You may also have to stick with soft foods for a while as your jaw recovers, but the investment is worth it. You now have a new tooth, that can relieve you of all the hassle that comes with dentures and bridgework.
Why Do I Want an Implant?An implant is not like a denture or bridgework. It is a replacement tooth. While the surgery may be involved, the return means a lifetime of use. It will look and function exactly as a natural tooth does, and won’t require special cleaning or often for you to remove it as some denture types require. Practicing good dental hygiene means that your implant will last many decades. Refrain from smoking, which is especially damaging to the mouth, and practice excellent oral hygiene. Use a soft-bristled brush and brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Avoid damaging your teeth by not chewing on hard materials, like ice or hard candy. See your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and your teeth will last a lifetime.
What is the process like?Understanding the process of what a typical placement of a dental implant looks like can help you make a decision if the process is right for you.
- The first step is an assessment by your dentist to determine whether or not your jaw has enough bone structure to support the implant. If there is not enough available structure or if your jaw is too soft you may require a bone graft to be performed in order for the site to be strengthened and not fail when the implant is installed.
- A bone graft is a procedure in which some bone tissue is taken from one part of the body and then grafted onto another part of the body. Commonly this area is the hip. This will strengthen the graft site and if this procedure is needed, it will require you spend some months recovering in order to allow for recovery as your jawbone to grow before the implant can be placed.
- The next step is to install the actual implant itself. The implant is a screw-like metal rod, generally made from aluminum. The surgery is an outpatient surgery done with a type of anesthesia. There are a few forms to choose from, such as local, sedation or a general anesthesia. Each one has different recovery times, so be sure to have somebody to take you home so you can spend the day resting.
- After a period of recovery, the abutment will be placed. The abutment is the part of the implant on which the crown will sit. Some cases the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.
- Next, you will have to spend several months healing and recovering. In this recovery time, you are getting the bone to grow around the implant to secure in place. This is what gives an implant its longevity and its strength. After the months spent healing, you will have a mold taken of your jaw and mouth and a crown created.
- Congratulations! You have a new tooth!