What Are Dental Implants: What You Need to Know

Dental implants or tooth replacements are a long-term solution for replacing a tooth or teeth. This procedure is typically used when natural teeth are decayed over a period of time or a patient experiences tooth loss due to oral health issues. 

What are dental implants?

Tooth implants are artificial teeth inserted into the jawbone. Dental implant surgery helps individuals get back get normal oral functions with these replacement teeth. The process involves an implant that is fixed into the gum tissue and jawbone. Once it is inserted, the tooth is crowned to make it look like your other teeth.

What are dental implants and why are they done?

 As mentioned above, dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are often recommended if you have tooth loss or unsalvageable teeth. Still, you must have health in the following areas to benefit from an implant:

  • Fully-grown jawbone
  • One or more missing teeth
  • Healthy oral tissues
  • Adequate bone to secure an implant
  • Unable to wear dentures

What are the benefits of dental implants?

 One of the most significant aspects of dental implants is the ability to restore confidence in an individual. Many people feel conscious about their teeth if they suffer from issues such as periodontal disease or tooth loss, and artificial tooth roots can help improve this.

What are the alternatives to dental implants?

A tooth implant treatment plan is not the only option for someone looking to improve their oral health. If an individual has salvageable teeth, a removable denture may be a suitable option. However, dentures do not change with your mouth, and this can cause discomfort over time. There is also the cost element of changing dentures over many years and potentially needing implant surgery further down the line.

What are the risks of dental implants?

Any surgery comes with risks, and while they are rare, there are some areas to consider before having dental surgery. Some examples include: 

  • Infection
  • Injury to other areas of the mouth
  • Nerve damage
  • Sinus issues

Your oral surgeon will handle any concerns and let you know of the potential risks.

How to choose dental implants

When deciding whether dental implants are right for you, your dentist or surgeon will go through the procedure and options and conduct an initial assessment on your viability to receive treatment. This dental exam will take x-rays and 3D images of your teeth and jaw. Plus, medical records and history will be examined to determine whether other health issues may affect the success rate of your implants.

Once this is completed, you will be able to make an informed choice on whether dental implants are suitable for you and your condition. There are several specialists that offer dental surgery, so it can be a great idea to compare the costs and treatments before making the final decision.

What to expect when you choose dental implants

The process of dental implants is not a quick procedure. While the actual surgery is an outpatient appointment with local anesthesia, the healing period takes several months to complete. There are several steps whether the surgeon is replacing a single tooth or several teeth. These include:

  1. Removing the damaged tooth.
  2. Preparing the jawbone so the implant is supported. You may potentially need bone grafting if your jawbone is too soft or isn’t thick enough.
  3. Inserting the implant.
  4. Your bone starts to grow and heal.
  5. The abutment is placed.
  6. Finally, your artificial tooth is inserted.

Your surgeon will explain the steps on each of the above to guide you through the process. As mentioned before, this happens over a period of many months due to the healing process and the implant procedure.

How to choose dental implants for the best results

The success rate for dental implants is excellent. However, some lifestyle choices such as smoking will affect the success of the treatment. If the bone doesn’t fuse, the implant is removed, and there is potential to try again at a later date.

The best results are a mix of getting a good surgeon and also following the aftercare process carefully. If you’re considering the procedure, chat Asheville family dentistry to get the best options for your condition.

Taking care of your oral health and minimizing the need for further dental surgery is an integral part of daily care routines if you have implants. Some top tips for caring for your teeth and gums include:

  • Brush twice a day and floss regularly to remove any bacteria and debris from your gum line. There are specialist brushes for implants to ensure you get those hard-to-reach areas and around any metal posts.
  • Visit your dentist and schedule regular check-ups to avoid any issues in the future. Your dentist will also provide a deep clean of your teeth and gums.
  • Eat well and avoid food and drink that stain your teeth. Avoid chewing anything that could potentially break your crown or any surrounding natural teeth.

To find out more about dental implants and the process, contact us today for more information.