Nobody wants gaps in their smile. Whether you’re lacking a single tooth or several, missing teeth can have a huge impact on your confidence. Not to mention, they can increase your risk of oral health problems like gum disease.
If you’re looking for tooth replacement options, implant dentistry should be at the top of your list. Not only do dental implants look natural, but they also mimic the bite and feel of your teeth. Here’s a closer look at the benefits of implant dentistry and how the procedure works.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small fixture that’s usually made of titanium. It’s implanted directly into the jawbone, then left to fuse with the bone. After around four to six months, the implants are covered with a dental crown, leaving the patient with a replacement that looks and functions just like a regular tooth.
Advantages of Implant Dentistry
Compared to other tooth replacement options (such as dentures), implant dentistry offers many benefits. Here are some of the top advantages.
Because dental implants replicate real teeth, they don’t require any special maintenance. Regular brushing, flossing and dental check-ups are all you need to take care of the implants.
Dental implants aren’t one-size-fits-all — they come in a variety of sizes and styles and can be adapted to meet the needs of each individual patient. Before installing implants. Dr. Brown will customize them to ensure they fit your dimensions and match the unique appearance of your teeth.
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they’re permanent. Once the titanium roots have fused with your jawbone, they can comfortably remain in place for the remainder of your life. Best of all, they don’t decay like normal teeth might. If any issues do occur (for example, if the restoration wears down), Dr. Brown can fix the problem.
One of the biggest complaints among patients who wear dentures is slippage. It can be embarrassing if your artificial teeth slip out while you’re eating or sleeping. Dental implants solve this problem by remaining anchored to the gums (which makes them durable and stable). Not only do they remain firmly planted in your mouth, but they can also bite down on food with the same force as regular teeth.
Promotes Jaw Health
Having a full set of teeth doesn’t just offer cosmetic benefits — it’s also good for your health. Every time your upper and lower teeth make contact, your jawbone is stimulated. If you’re missing one or multiple teeth, your jawbone does not receive this stimulation, causing it to weaken. Over time, this may lead to bone loss, which can change the shape of your face. Dental implants help ensure your jaw remains strong, ultimately preventing bone loss.
How Implant Dentistry Works
Now that you know the benefits of implant dentistry, you might be wondering: how does the procedure work? Here’s what you can expect from Dr. Brown and The Perio Group.
1) Dental Consultation
The first step to getting dental implants is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Brown. This initial meeting (which involves oral exams, X-rays and measurements) will help determine whether you are a viable candidate for implant dentistry.
Depending on the condition of your teeth, you may be cleared for dental implants right away. Some patients, however, might need to undergo other procedures before they can receive implants. If you have a soft jawbone, cracked teeth or a decaying tooth, you may need a tooth extraction or bone graft first. Tooth extractions can usually be performed on the same day as the implant installation. Bone grafts, on the other hand, may require a separate appointment.
2) Implant Placement
Patients who are approved for implant dentistry can proceed to schedule the surgery. When installing the implants, Dr. Brown will gently numb the area with a local anesthetic. Next, he’ll make a small cut in the gum to expose the bone. The titanium tooth roots are then implanted directly into the bone tissue. If necessary, Dr. Brown may also add a healing cap to help prime the tooth for restoration.
3) Follow-Up Appointments
After the surgery is completed, the implants will need around five months or so to permanently fuse with the jawbone. To help encourage healing, you should maintain the following care regime directly after surgery:
- Rinse implants with saltwater
- Use a soft-bristle toothbrush
- Eat soft foods
- Use ice packs to prevent swelling
- Avoid strenuous activity
It’s also important to attend regular follow-up appointments. During these check-ups, Dr. Brown can check for any signs of infection and prescribe medication for managing pain. If your implants are covered by gum tissue, you’ll need another appointment to uncover them.
4) Restoration/Crown Placement
The last step to installing dental implants is getting a crown placement. This refers to the top layer of the artificial tooth (which will emulate the appearance of your teeth and be used to bite on food). First, we will take impressions of your gum tissue and then send them to technicians who will sculpt porcelain crowns that match the color and shape of your teeth.
Once the crowns are ready, they will carefully be fitted over the implant. When they’re secured in place, you’re left with a bright, full smile.
Schedule a Dental Implant Procedure Today!
There’s a reason why many patients interested in tooth replacement opt for implant dentistry. In addition to being permanent solutions, dental implants are easy to maintain and highly durable. Most importantly, they help prevent bone loss, gum disease and other oral problems.
Because dental implants play such a big role in oral health, it’s essential to find a team that will treat your teeth with the care and precision they deserve. Dr. I. Stephen Brown of The Perio Group has years of experience in implant dentistry and works closely with every patient to customize the ideal dental implants. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.