What You Need to Know About Dental Implants
If you are missing one or more teeth or know that tooth loss is unfortunately in your future, then you might have investigated different ways to replace these teeth. You will almost certainly have discovered some information about dental implants, but how much do you really know about this treatment? In fact, it is considered the premier way to replace missing teeth which is because of the way a dental implant works in the mouth, its protective effects on your dental health, and the sheer versatility of treatment.
Why Dental Implants are the Premier Solution for Tooth Loss
One of the most important facts to consider is why dental implants are such a good solution for tooth loss. When you have a dental implant, then treatment might take a little longer than alternative solutions like a dental bridge or denture, but this is because it is so technologically advanced, and the technologies used require extensive planning. It is well worth any extra time and effort because provided your dental implant treatment is expertly planned and the implants optimally placed, then you should be enjoying the outcome of treatment for many years to come. Some people will have their implants for life. When you consider the other potential benefits, then this fact is crucial.
What Makes Dental Implants So Special?
It is the design of dental implants that make them so unique because unlike other methods of replacing teeth, a dental implant is designed to replicate a real tooth root with a small titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone. The design helps to reduce the effects of tooth loss in several different ways.
Reducing Jawbone Loss
Firstly, the dental implant reduces bone loss which naturally occurs after a real tooth root is removed. It can do this because the implant post provides stimulation to the jawbone surrounding the post in a way that is very similar to a real tooth root. The stimulus received by the jawbone ensures old bone cells are continually renewed as they die off.
Protecting Your Natural Teeth
Secondly, an implant post helps to protect your remaining natural teeth. All your teeth are designed to work in harmony so even the loss of a single tooth can affect the others. When you lose a tooth, then the gap left behind will have a destabilizing effect on your remaining teeth. The teeth either side of the gap tend to drift towards the empty space, while the teeth opposing the gap will begin to over-erupt, moving downwards or upwards towards the empty space. The problem is worsened by any bone loss.
When teeth move out of place, it affects your occlusion or the way your teeth bite together, but when you have a dental implant, your remaining teeth will not move. Additionally, replacing missing teeth helps to spread the forces of biting and chewing evenly, so there is less chance your natural teeth will become excessively worn or even chipped.
There is another way that dental implants help to protect your natural teeth as if you choose to have a dental bridge then it’s necessary to have the teeth adjacent to the gap extensively reshaped and ground down. Your dentist will have to do this because these teeth must be crowned, and the crowns are used to support new replacement teeth, called pontics. If you have a partial denture, then it will most likely need special attachments or clasps fitted around your existing teeth, both of which will require these teeth to be modified in some way.
You won’t need your natural teeth to be modified in any way with dental implant treatment as dental implants only have beneficial effects on existing teeth.
Dental implants can look fantastic and so natural that no-one need know you lost any teeth. They are an especially good choice for replacing single teeth because they so closely replicate a real tooth. Unlike an ordinary dental bridge where the replacement tooth rests on your gums, a dental implant tooth will merge from your gum, just like a natural tooth. Other implant options like an implant-supported bridge can also look extremely good. If you currently wear dentures and want to exchange them for an implant-supported denture or even a fixed bridge, then you will notice a considerable difference! Your new restoration will most likely feel smaller and less bulky, and especially if you swap an upper denture for an implant-supported denture or bridge. Instead of covering up your upper palate, your new upper teeth will be constructed in a horseshoe shape, uncovering your upper palate, so you feel more comfortable. Your food should taste better too because your upper palate has lots of taste buds.
Failing or missing teeth or loose and uncomfortable dentures can make mealtimes an unpleasant experience. Dental implants will restore your ability to eat comfortably and to enjoy a far greater choice of foods, including many you might have thought were off the menu for good. Improved nutrition is another added benefit.
There Is a Wide Choice of Treatments
There is a wide choice of different dental implant treatments and especially when you require multiple new teeth. Options include single dental implants, implant-supported bridges, and implant-supported dentures. Some choices allow the implants to be restored almost immediately after surgery, while with other treatments you will need to wait for the implant posts to integrate with your jawbone. Don’t worry, as you will receive temporary teeth! Dental implants can even be different widths, so for example, if you need a new small lower front tooth, it’s possible to fit a narrower diameter dental implant. These types of dental implants also sometimes used to support dentures.
Easy to Maintain but Good Oral Hygiene Is Essential
Dental implants aren’t difficult to care for, but you must ensure you have great oral hygiene. Otherwise, there’s a possibility that the tissues around your dental implant may become infected with a destructive disease that is like periodontal or gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing combined with checkups and cleanings will help to reduce this risk. Looking after dental implants is very straightforward, and our dentist Dr. Donald Nimz and our excellent dental team will ensure you know exactly how to care for your dental implants. We’ll also provide the most appropriate ongoing preventative care.
There is lots more to learn about dental implants, including which solution will most suit you so get in touch and schedule a consultation with us here at McLoughlin Dental Care.