If you’re looking into solutions to repair your smile where you’re currently missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be exactly the fix you’re looking for. Even if you’re not missing teeth but have a badly decayed or damaged tooth/teeth that need to be removed, implants may be a great replacement tooth solution as well. Patients love them as they’re the closest thing you can get to natural teeth.
What Does Getting Implants Involve?
There are a couple different routes you can take when getting dental implants. The traditional method is a multi-step procedure that takes place over the course of a few months. Your dentist will first give you an exam to determine the health of your gums and jaw, which is very important for the success of the procedure.
There needs to be no signs of gum disease or infection, otherwise implants are not a good choice – not until those issues are no longer present. Your dentist will also check the bone density of your jaw. The bone needs to be dense enough to be able to withhold the structural part of the implant. The first part of the procedure is to have the implant carefully placed down into the jaw and will heal and be covered by the gum tissue.
A post will then be attached to the implant – the two of these together make up the anchor for the replacement tooth. The implant and post may be put in at the same time during one procedure or the post may be put on at a later date. The last step is for the dentist to place a crown over the implant post. Our dentists pay close attention to detail when specially crafting each crown to look and feel as much like a natural tooth as possible.
Are There Different Types?
Yes, there are a few different types of dental implants to choose from. Another part of your initial exam will be for your dentist to guide you to the options which are best suited for the current health of your gums and jaw.
The first and most common type is Endosteal Implants. This type is actually fused to the jawbone, therefore, in order to be a good candidate, the jaw has to be really healthy and have the proper bone density. With these the post is put on and then the replacement tooth is placed on top.
The second, and also a very common type, are Subperiosteal Implants. These are a good option for someone who doesn’t have the proper bone density or just isn’t crazy about the thought of having a structure actually fused into their jawbone. This type sits underneath the gum tissue but it actually sits on top of the jaw bone. A post is attached to a metal frame and the gum tissue holds it in place. The replacement teeth are then secured onto the posts.
Another much less common type is Zygomatic Implants. This type is typically only done on patients who do not have the bone structure to withhold endosteal implants. These are actually placed into the cheekbone of the patient, rather the jawbone.
What About Same Day Implants – Are Those An Option?
We understand that when it comes to your smile, it’s usually something that our patients want to get fixed as soon as possible – especially with missing teeth. We get asked all the time how Same Day Implants work and if they’re a good option.
Like with other options, the current health of the gums and jawbone are going to need to be in good condition. In this procedure, a dentist will basically put in the implant and then immediately load the replacement tooth onto it. This has to be very carefully done so that nothing can be moved around during the healing process that follows.
This process is very appealing to most patients as you get to leave the office with brand new teeth in tact that same day. However, there are some cons that need to also be considered. Even with this type of implant, there is still a 3 to 6 month healing period that must take place. During this time it’s absolutely crucial that the patient follows all guidelines given to them by their dentist. There’s what is called a bone-to-implant integration process which must take place. Generally you will be asked to stick to a soft diet for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Not properly sticking to the rules could cause damage with costly effects.
What Are The Benefits?
There are many benefits to getting this type of replacement tooth/teeth.
The most immediate benefit is a huge boost in self-confidence. It can be a very emotionally difficult experience to go through every day life while missing teeth. It often makes a person too self-conscious to want to smile or engage in conversation with other people. Getting replacement teeth certainly adds to the quality of life for most patients.
Other huge benefits are being able to eat and speak more efficiently. Missing teeth can really have an affect on a person’s diet and overall health. Being limited to what foods you’re actually able to eat is difficult and can lead to a number of other health issues.
It’s also very embarrassing for some people who’s speech is greatly affected by missing their teeth. It takes a short amount of time to get use to having implants as they feel very much like natural teeth – most see almost an immediate improvement in any issues that they were having with their speech.
Caring For Your New Teeth
Caring for dental implants is generally quite simple. For the most part you care for them exactly as you would your natural teeth. You want to make sure to clean them the same amount as you would your natural smile. We recommend using a soft bristled brush, as it’s much more gentle and won’t cause damage to the gum tissue.
Do you still have questions about if this solution is the right one for you? Call our Everett Dental Office – we’re here to answer any and all of your questions.