What Are Dental Implants? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Damaged or missing teeth can cause you a lot of problems when you’re eating, they can also cause infections and ruin the perception you have of your smile. Getting your teeth replaced will help your bite, oral health, and your smile. 

There are several options available for replacing your teeth, including dental bridges and dentures; however, by far the most effective way of dealing with missing teeth is to have dental implants.

But what exactly are dental implants?

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of dental implants, how they work, and how dentists carry out the procedure. 

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants replace missing or damaged teeth. The replacement crown or tooth is fitted to the jawbone using a small screw, usually made from titanium. 

Dental implants are a permanent solution to the problems caused by missing teeth. Once fitted, they cannot be removed, and they won’t move around. 

Compared to dentures, dental implants provide a natural look and are very convincing in their appearance. This is because your dental implants are designed to match the appearance and shape of your existing teeth.

Once fitted, dental implants will also help to reduce the risk of sensitivity and cavities in neighboring teeth. 

The dental implant cost will depend upon which type of implant you get fitted and how many teeth need to be replaced. 

There are two types of dental implants, Endosteal, and Subperiosteal. 

Endosteal Dental Implants

The most common type of dental implants is the Endosteal implant. In this type of implant, a crown is screwed directly into the jawbone using a titanium screw. This creates an immovable bond. 

This type of dental implant is the most effective of the two options. 

Subperiosteal Dental Implants

There may be occasions when it is not possible for your dentist to carry out the Endosteal procedure. Generally, this will be because of a lack of density in the jawbone or because your jawbone is not healthy enough to sustain the implant. 

Where you are not able to have an Endosteal implant, your dentist may carry out a Subperiosteal implant procedure. This type of dental implant will involve the implant being fitted above the jaw rather than into it. There is no screw in this option; as such, it is least effective. 

How Does the Dental Implant Procedure Work?

If you’re getting dental implants fitted, the whole process could take several months to complete. The first step in the process would be to get any damaged teeth removed. 

If there is not enough jawbone or it is too soft, then it may be possible to have this grafted at this stage. It is important that your jaw is strong enough to take the pressure from your replacement tooth.

If your jaw needs grafting, it can take several months to get to the right strength to be able to take the implant. Once it is ready to accept the implant, the dentist will cut through the gums and drill into the jawbone. After this, you can wear a temporary denture. 

Your jawbone will need time to grow. This can take a few months. Once ready, the abutment can be fixed in place. This is the small screw which the crown will sit down. 

The replacement tooth is then made up. This will be made with x-rays and impressions of your mouth.  

Finally, when the jawbone is ready to accept the implant, then it can be fixed into place. 

Who Can Get Dental Implants?

Your dentist will need to decide whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. There are several pre-existing medical issues that the dentist will need to know about before they can make the decision about whether dental implants are right for you. 

The types of conditions that the dentist will need to know about include osteoporosis, HIV, AIDS, diabetes, and any uncontrollable metabolic diseases. 

The dentist will also need to know whether you have any conditions that cause you to grind your teeth. If this is the case, then implants may not be suitable for you. 

You’ll also ask whether you’re a smoker, and if so, how much you smoke. This is because you may not be a suitable candidate if you’re a heavy smoker. 

The quantity and strength of your jaw are also going to have a substantial impact upon your suitability for Endosteal implants. You may, however, still be a candidate for subperiosteal implants. 

Are There Any Risks Associated With Dental Implants?

Your dentist will be able to talk you through the risks associated with having dental implants fitted. It is important that you understand the procedure fully and the associated risk. Here are some that you should be aware of: 

  • The implant becoming exposed
  • The incision in the gum reopening
  • Infection in the gum
  • Damage to the nerves
  • The implant moving

After the dental procedure has been carried out, your dentist will need to see how your implants have settled into your mouth. They may ask to see you several times to check that everything looks good.

The number of teeth that you’re having replaced will impact the complexity of the procedure. Your dentist can discuss any of their risks with you to help put your mind at ease. 

Finding the Right Dental Implants for You

Having dental implants fitted can greatly improve the way that you feel about your smile. Not only this, but you’ll also be able to eat what you want, when you want, without worrying about pain or discomfort. 

Having dental implants fitted could greatly improve the quality of life that you lead. They are the best way of dealing with damaged or missing teeth. 

Before deciding whether dental implants are the right choice for you, speak with your dentist. 

If you’d like to learn more, schedule an appointment. Get in touch today; we look forward to seeing you.  

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