What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a screw-like anchor that replaces a natural tooth root. It provides a sturdy and stable base for artificial teeth like dentures, crowns, and bridges. A dental implant is made from materials like biocompatible titanium.
The teeth on top of the implants are made to match the colour of the surrounding teeth. It looks and functions like a normal tooth and is unlikely to hinder any functions like chewing and speaking.
Are they the right option for me?
Dental implants are a versatile replacement for natural roots but might not be the right option for everyone. Your dentist would be the right person to discuss the viability of the treatment for you. In most cases, they will perform an X-ray to determine if you have the right bone structure for a dental implant. It is important to make sure that the bones have enough strength and space for an implant.
Additionally, your medical history is extremely relevant in determining your suitability. Some long-standing and/or chronic illnesses can potentially be a hindrance to getting dental implants. It is critical to discuss your medical history with your dentist.
What makes someone a good candidate for dental implants?
Several factors need to be considered for determining someone’s eligibility for dental implants. Here are some factors that your dentist will consider before moving forward with the procedure:
Healthy gums are an important consideration for dental implants. The gums must be strong enough to hold the implants firmly in place. If there is any sign of gum disease or infection, your dentist will likely address your immediate concerns first.
Gum disease or infection does not automatically exclude you from regaining your confident smile. Your dentist will discuss your options and might suggest routine cleaning and/or treating active infections. This will not only help your suitability for dental implants but also improve your oral health.
Adequate bone Structure and Size
The bone around the implant will be X-rayed to reveal any imperfections that can be a cause of concern for the surgery and the effectiveness of the dental implants. Your dentist will comprehensively consider the size, strength, and structure (shape) of the bone. If any concerns need to be addressed, your dentist will discuss bone restructuring procedures that can help.
Smoking and Dental Implants
Smoking can be very harmful to dental implants. The smoke you inhale burns gum and bone tissue. Over time, it weakens the gums that provide support for dental implants. Furthermore, smoking after the procedure can slow down the healing process by lowering immunity. Nicotine also prevents the bone from fusing with the implant and cause potential problems.
If you have a history of smoking, it is a good idea to discuss alternatives with your dentist and how it can negatively impact your ability to get dental implants.
Commitment to Good Dental Health Practices
Dental implants are a permanent solution to restore your smile. Even though dental implants do not require special care, it is crucial to not stray from your commitment to good hygiene practices. Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth is highly recommended. Moreover, regular visits to your dentist can help you retain your teeth and prevent potential complications.
FAQ’S- Dental Implants
Dental implants are made of biocompatible materials like titanium. After the procedure, the bone grows around the implants fixing them in place. Dental implants can potentially last a lifetime.
Pain is a common concern for any surgical procedure, and dental implants are no exception. Local anaesthesia is used and the likelihood of pain during the procedure is minimal. Your dentist would advise on keeping you awake during the procedure. However, a mild sedative may be administered. Feel free to express all of your concerns before the procedure so that your dentist can provide you with the best possible experience.
Duration of the Recovery Process
There is likely to be mild-moderate post-surgery pain and discomfort. It is normal for your dentist to prescribe some over the counter medicines to help you with pain management. If the pain persists beyond a week, it is advisable to see your dentist to address the issue.
The bone structure takes 3-6 months to heal in a process called osseointegration. The jawbone forms around the implant and increases the support and stability the implant provides.
Single vs Multiple Implants
If only a single tooth needs to be replaced, a single implant will support a single tooth. However, if several teeth need replacement, the procedure may be different.
Depending on your requirements, a dental bridge may be suggested. Not every tooth requires a separate implant. A dental bridge can support multiple teeth with only one implant. However, it would depend on the strength of your bones as the implant is likely to go deeper and can often support a full denture.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer a permanent way to reclaim your confidence with your natural smile. Some of the many advantages of implants are:
- Dental implants look and function like natural teeth, without any colour differences or mismatched aesthetics.
- Biocompatible materials offer a long-lasting resolution that usually doesn’t require replacements or readjustments.
- Unlike dentures, dental implants don’t slide around your mouth. Their stability doesn’t hinder everyday functions like speech or eating certain kinds of foods.
- There is no age restriction on the eligibility to get dental implants.
Risks associated with Dental Implants
Dental implants require surgery and therefore carry the risk of certain complications. Anaesthesia is necessary for the procedure and a mild sedative may be required as well. If you have any allergies, it is essential to discuss them with your dentist to avoid any complications during the surgery. Our dentists are committed to providing you with the safest possible experience.
Dental implant surgery also carries a risk of infection and damage to other teeth or surrounding gums. Additionally, implants in the upper jaw can cause sinus complications in certain cases.
Despite these risks, it is important to understand that your dentist will try to assess them before recommending the procedure to you and minimise the risks as much as possible.
Costs of Dental Implants
The costs of dental implants vary depending on three important factors and can cost you $1,000 to $4,000. This cost is highly dependant on the number of teeth that need replacement, your health insurance coverage, and the type of implant you choose to get.
For more information, feel free to reach out to our friendly staff to discuss your dental requirements.