Dental implants are some of the greatest dental innovations used to replace missing teeth. As opposed to crowns, dentures, or bridges, dental implants are among the most sought-after devices for teeth restoration because they are strong, stable, and long-lasting when properly cared for.
Some Advantages of Dental Implants
1. Preserve and Protect Healthy Bone
The jawbone will require continuous stimulation from the root of the tooth. Once you lose a tooth, the natural stimulation is removed, and this can lead to jawbone deterioration. Eventually, this will provide unfavorable consequences to the structure of your face and to your overall health.
Today, dental implants are the only dental advancements that will stimulate your jawbone using an artificial tooth root in order to prevent bone loss.
Tooth restoration options like dentures and bridges can only last for 5-10 years. On the contrary, dental implants last a lifetime if cared for properly.
3. Enjoy an Unrestricted Diet
Consuming foods you like may be difficult if you opt for bridges and dentures because the food could fall out mid-bite. With dental implants, you can enjoy the natural stability and comfort of a real tooth. As such, you can eat anything you like with comfort and ease.
Despite these many benefits, not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Typically, you can be a good candidate for dental implants if you lost a tooth or teeth and are in good physical and oral health. Those with complex cases like jaw deterioration or periodontal disease might need supplemental procedures. These include bone regeneration, ridge modification, soft tissue augmentation, and sinus lift.
To qualify for dental implants, you must have the following prerequisites:
1. Good Oral Health
Your mouth must be free of gum disease or tooth decay prior to moving forward with dental implant treatment to properly heal and osseointegrate.
2. A Legitimate Need
You need to have missing tooth/teeth or be at risk for losing one.
3. Adequate Gum Tissue and Jawbone Support
Once you lose a tooth, your gum tissue and jawbone start to deteriorate. For you to be a good candidate for dental implants, you need to have excellent gum tissue and jawbone support.
These components will provide the stable foundation to efficiently hold your dental implants in place.
4. Overall Stable Health
Prior to undergoing any surgery, your health must be reasonably stable. This way, any complications will be prevented.
5. Willingness to Follow Dentist’s Orders
Usually, it takes about 4-6 months to complete the dental implant process. It is crucial for you to be willing to follow your dentist’s orders to make sure that the implant properly heals.
Other people don’t qualify for dental implants due to some habits and characteristics. These include children with an underdeveloped jawbone, smokers, and alcohol drinkers. Smoking and alcohol drinking can impair osteoblast proliferation and slow down the blood flow to key areas of your body. Thus, your implant will fail to meld with your gums and jawbone.
Different Replacement Options
● Single Tooth Replacements
The single tooth replacement method is meant for patients with only a single tooth to replace. This approach replaces one tooth without damaging its neighboring teeth. The implant’s root will integrate with the jawbone to create the same results as an original tooth.
● Multiple Tooth Replacements
The multiple tooth replacement method is meant for people with more than one missing tooth. Your dentist will create multiple custom dental implants that will resemble your other teeth. The end result will be a natural-looking, beautiful smile.
● Full-Mouth Reconstruction
Full-mouth reconstruction is your best option if all your teeth are missing. This is a more stable option than dentures. Also, this can help restore the aesthetics and function of your mouth and your smile. Although this is a lengthy process, a fully restored smile is guaranteed. Surely, you can regain your self-confidence.
An Overview of the Dental Implant Process
Step 1: Consultation
A consultation with an experienced female dentist is the first step to getting dental implants. Your dentist must examine your oral health to identify if you are a good candidate for the treatment.
She will also determine if implants are the best option for your specific case. Moreover, she can answer any questions you may have about getting dental implants.
Step 2: The Implant Procedure
The fixture is the first piece of the dental implant that will be placed in the empty spot left by your missing tooth/teeth. This is one of the three pieces making up a dental implant. Once it’s already in place, the area will be stitched up.
The abutment will then be placed above the implant fixture once the gums heal.
Step 3: Recovery Period
The recovery period is considered the most crucial part of the process because this is when osseointegration happens. Since dental implants are made of titanium, which is a biocompatible alloy recognized by your body as natural, osseointegration is possible. This way, your dental implants will look and feel like natural teeth.
Step 4: Restoration
If the implant fixture had enough time to heal, you must return to your dentist so she can place your replacement teeth. Your remaining teeth must be scanned so your dentist can create replacement teeth that will fit in perfectly.
The loss of teeth can lead to oral problems, reduced self-confidence, and other health issues. Thus, replacing your missing tooth/teeth becomes crucial. If you are a good candidate for them, don’t hesitate to opt for dental implants. With this tooth replacement option, you get to enjoy the security of a solid base and a natural appearance.
Dr. Yvette Porter is the founding dentist at Apple Dental in Newstead, Brisbane, which she started over 11 years ago, and continues to own and practice there today. She works with a team of female dentists who aim to provide gentle, and affordable dental care to patients in Brisbane. Dr. Porter is a member of the Australian Dental Association and is passionate about family, and children’s dentistry, hoping to make their dental experience truly pleasant.