Dental implants are metal, screw-like tooth roots that are placed in a person’s jawbone. They provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth, and they are a more stable solution for missing teeth because they are permanent.
Dental implants provide you with many advantages, including:
- A better smile: this is the most apparent advantage of dental implants. Because they are made to look and feel like your teeth, you can smile without an awkward feeling of self-consciousness.
- Relief from the discomfort of dentures: while they are more affordable, dentures come with lots of inconveniences such as:
- Negatively impacting speech, as poor-fitting dentures may cause teeth to slip, thus causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants help you speak without worrying about your teeth slipping.
- Difficulty in chewing; dental implants work like your teeth. Thus you can chew without discomfort.
- Dentures are removable; dental implants are not.
- Durable and improved dental healthcare solution: dental implants improve long-term dental health, are very durable, and provide the convenience that is absent with removable dentures.
- They provide a complete tooth replacement solution, acting as artificial roots to support the teeth’ full functionality and stop or prevent jawbone loss.
What’s the process of putting in a dental implant, and how long does it take?
At your initial appointment, your dentist will develop a custom plan for you after considering several factors. The factors include your age, teeth color, specific needs, and overall health. When your dentist certifies you fit for the dental implant surgery, a tooth root implant, which is a small post made out of titanium root, will be placed surgically into the bone socket of your missing tooth.
The process is relatively painless as your dentist will have applied a local anesthetic before beginning the procedure. The dentist will make an incision in your gum to expose your jawbone, drill a hole into the exposed jawbone to make room for the titanium post, and screw it in place. The entire process should take no more than an hour, and because the area has been anesthetized, you should feel no pain from any of these processes.
After screwing in the implant, you have to wait for the soft tissue and bone around the inserted root to heal and fuse with it. It takes anywhere from six to twelve weeks for this to happen. After the fusing is complete, your dentist attaches a new tooth to the root using a small connector post called an abutment. The abutment holds the new tooth securely to the titanium post. Your dentist makes the new tooth by making an impression of your teeth and creating a model. The new tooth is then made based on the model.
Factors that determine eligibility for dental implants
The condition of the bone
Dental implants require an amount of bone to be present to fuse with the titanium post. When a person misses a tooth or two, the bone surrounding the area where the tooth used to be, begins to deteriorate. When a tooth is missing, the surrounding bone begins to deteriorate. Your dentist will check whether you have enough bone quantity for the implant using dental x-rays.
If you have been missing a tooth for a while, you may not have enough bone quantity to qualify for an immediate dental implant. If that is the case, your dentist will recommend a bone grafting procedure to help your body regenerate bone and tissue. When your dentist deems the regenerated bone quantity sufficient, you will proceed with the surgery.
Dental implants are better in adults whose facial structures have developed fully – this would be age 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
General and oral health
Good general and dental health is non-negotiable when planning dental implant surgery. Thus, a heavy smoker, someone with diabetes, or gum disease will be better off seeking alternative solutions for their missing tooth. Our dental care professionals can help you with this.
Let us help you with your dental implants.
We offer dental implants and bridges permanently anchored to your jaw that have the look and feel of natural teeth. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation, or call us at 204-663-5000 if you need help urgently. You can count on us to meet your emergency needs!