If you have one or multiple missing teeth, you probably know how important a full and complete smile is. Restoring your smile is possible with many innovative options in dentistry, such as dentures, veneers, bridge, and implants.
An estimated 3 million people currently have dental implants, and that number grows by the day. If you want this form of smile restoration, first gain a proper understanding of dental implants beforehand. With this guide and the help of your dentist, you will be more familiar with the benefits and process involved with implant dentistry.
1. Different Dental Implant Types Exist
Dentists don't go for a one-size-fits-all approach with implants. Instead, they customize implants to your teeth's size and condition. After a detailed consultation, your dentist will be able to determine which implant is right for your specific needs.
The most common type of dental implant is an endosteal implant, which refers to the implant being IN the actual bone. Implants placed on the actual bone are subperiosteal implants.
Endosteal implants are best for patients who wear dentures or removable dentures. If you cannot wear traditional dentures for one reason or another, your dentist will suggest subperiosteal implants.
2. Dental Implants Are Not a Quick Fix
Another fact that you should know is that dental implants are not a quick fix. You cannot walk into your dentist's office and walk out with a completely new implant on the same day. Implant dentistry is a process that requires patience and understanding.
The first appointment will be a consultation where your dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for implants and what type is best. If you have damaged teeth that the dentist must remove or insufficient bone mass that requires a bone graft, these procedures must be done first.
Once your jaw has healed from extractions or bone grafts, the dentist will surgically place a metal post into the jaw. The dentist will also secure an abutment, which acts as an extension from the jaw to the artificial tooth, to the implant. Your jaw will need to heal for a few weeks or even months before the next phase of the implantation procedure.
Finally, the dentist places artificial teeth onto the abutment. The artificial teeth were made from molds of your actual teeth.
From beginning to end, the entire process can take a few months. Although this is a lengthy process to commit to, dental implants are a worthwhile investment.
3. Dental Implants Have a High Success Rate
If you still have doubts about whether implants are right for you, know that dental implants are the best option for long-term success. In fact, recent studies have shown that dental implants can last 40 to 50 years or longer, giving them a success rate of over 95 percent.
Know what you need to do to protect the durable, natural, and successful nature of your implants.
Make sure you continue visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and exams even after you receive your implants. This is the best way to fight plaque, tartar, decay, and gum disease, which can affect not only your implants but also your surrounding natural teeth and gum tissue.
You should also continue brushing and flossing as normal. Experts recommend brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to remove food residue and bacteria on and in between the teeth and gums.
Break a few habits that may damage your teeth. Forego using tobacco products. This will protect your implants and natural teeth from stains, decay, and gum disease.
Avoid using your teeth and implants as tools as well, since this can damage your natural teeth and implants. Never use your teeth to open packages or bottles.
Dental implants are an excellent option in smile restoration. To learn more about implants, contact Rabel Family Dentistry today.