Dental Implants: An Overview
Severely damaged, misshapen, or missing teeth can be a huge source of frustration (and embarrassment) for many people. This is not really surprising as gaps in your smile can significantly impact how you feel and look.
While there are various ways to deal with missing teeth, one method is considered superior compared to the others—dental implants. Unlike dentures, dental implants are considered a permanent solution for tooth replacement.
Dental Implants in a Nutshell
As the term implies, a dental implant is an appliance that’s attached to the jaw, just under the gum line. The device fuses with the jaw bone. Nowadays, dental implants have become a go-to alternative to the standard dentures.
Dental Implants vs Dentures
Today, more people prefer dental implants over regular dentures. This is quite understandable as many people prefer the look and feel of dental implants (hint: they look just like your natural teeth!).
Also, most people love dental implants as it allows them to go about their day without having to worry about removing, inserting, or cleaning their dentures. Another reason people prefer dental implants over dentures is it allows them to enjoy a vast range of foods.
There is also a massive difference between the care dental implants and dentures require. For instance, unlike dentures that require special care and cleaning, your dental implants will only require regular brushing and flossing.
Another reason many people opt for dental implants is they won’t have to worry about the replacement teeth slipping while they speak, talk, or laugh. If you have gaps in your teeth, the neighboring teeth might shift into those spaces. A dental implant can prevent this from happening.
Different Types of Dental Implant Materials
The dental implant itself is typically made of titanium. Titanium is the material that has been used for decades as they provide superb results. The post (also known as abutment) that holds the replacement tooth in place is also typically made out of titanium.
The new replacement teeth (also known as crown) can be made of several materials. Porcelain or ceramic is often used as it is the most natural-looking. It can also be tinted to match the rest of the teeth.
In some instances, metal crowns might be used for areas that are not easily seen like the back molars.
How Long a Dental Implant Procedure Takes
A dental implant process is a multi-step procedure that can last for several months. Once it has been established that you are a great candidate for dental implants, the procedure will be scheduled. If the tooth that needs replacement is severely damaged, extraction is done first before the procedure begins.
Other procedures might also be required depending on your specific case. Your dentist is in the best position to inform you what needs to be done. Once the implant has been inserted, you need to allow several months for it to fully integrate with the jawbone and heal.
Dental Implant Required Aftercare
It is reassuring to know that looking after your dental implants is no rocket science. No lengthy or complicated rituals are needed. All you have to do is look after your dental implants like you would your natural teeth.
That means you only need to do your usual oral care routine—brushing twice daily, flossing, and adhering to your routine dental visits.
Some studies also indicate that smoking might cause dental implant issues. That being said, it would be a good idea to quit smoking for good once you’ve gotten dental implants. It is also a good way to ensure they last for a very long time.