In decades past, bridges and dentures were among the few treatment options available to people with missing teeth. Due to advancements in dentistry, one or more missing teeth can now be replaced with strong, natural-looking dental implants.
Dental implants are a type of replacement tooth root that creates a reliable foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. During dental implant surgery, tooth roots are replaced with metal, screw-like posts. Missing teeth are then replaced with artificial teeth that look and function just like natural teeth.
Nearly anyone who is missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all of their teeth are suitable candidates for dental implants. Learn more about dental implants, how they work, and what to expect with dental implants.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Placing a dental implant involves several important steps that may require multiple visits to your Clermont dentist. First, your dentist will surgically insert a titanium post into your jawbone. During the healing process, the implant will osseointegrate, meaning it will fuse with the natural jawbone and create a strong foundation for a replacement tooth.
Next, a connector known as an abutment is placed on the dental implant. This small connector is what attaches the dental implant to the replacement tooth. Finally, a custom-made crown or other artificial replacement tooth is attached to the abutment, resulting in a tooth that looks and functions like a natural tooth.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. They can also give you a boost of confidence and restore your ability to eat your favorite foods. Some other key benefits of dental implants include:
- Improved Speech – With ill-fitting dentures, your teeth can slip while you talk, causing slur or mumbled speech. Dental implants remain stable in the mouth, allowing you to speak with ease.
- Easier Eating – Sliding dentures can also make it difficult to eat. As dental implants function like your natural teeth, you can eat all types of food without pain or discomfort.
- Convenience – Removable dentures can be inconvenient as they must be removed and cleaned. They also require adhesives to stay in place. Dental implants are permanently fixed in the mouth and can be cleaned like your regular teeth.
- Improved Comfort – Removable dentures can be uncomfortable, especially when they don’t fit correctly and slide around. Dental implants feel just like natural teeth.
- Improved Appearance – Missing one or multiple teeth can affect a person’s confidence. Dental implants look like your own teeth which can restore your appearance and self-esteem.
Is Getting a Dental Implant Painful?
One of the most common questions regarding dental implants is whether they are painful. While there are different types of dental implant treatments with varying discomfort levels, most are no more painful than a traditional root canal. Patients are typically administered a local anesthetic and occasionally a sedative. It’s normal to experience some soreness for several days following the procedure.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental implants have a long and well-documented history of success. There are always risks associated with any procedure but most are rare, such as allergic reactions to the titanium used as the tooth root. However, there are often alternatives to avoid these types of risks. For example, patients with metal sensitivities or allergies can opt for an alternative to titanium, such as metal-free zirconia implants.
Is Bone Grafting Required Before Dental Implants?
Bone grafting is not always required before getting dental implants. Your dentist may recommend bone grafting if you do not have enough bone volume to securely anchor the implants. It is common for the jawbone to shrink in areas where teeth are missing, making bone grafting necessary in some cases. Stabilizing dental implants with bone grafts can also have other benefits, such as improved function when chewing and eating.
Contact Our Office Today
Dental implants can be used to help restore your smile if you are missing one or multiple teeth. To learn more about dental implants and whether you may be a good candidate for this procedure, reach out to the friendly dental team at Hancock Village Dental.