If you’re considering dental implants, you’re not alone. Millions of people have already taken advantage of this life-changing procedure to restore their smile. Any medical procedure can be incredibly intimidating, especially if it drastically changes the way you look.
In this article, we aim to remove some of the mystery surrounding dental implants and explain how they work, their benefits, and if you might be the right candidate.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is designed to replace a missing or decaying tooth. A small titanium post is installed into the jawbone, acting as an artificial root structure for your new tooth. Then, a crown is installed on top of the post.
A crown is the piece of a dental implant that resembles your natural tooth. It can be made of ceramic, porcelain, or composite resin. The artificial tooth is color-matched to the rest of your teeth so that when the procedure is complete, your new tooth won’t stand out from your natural teeth.
Dental implants are often the preferred method for replacing missing teeth because, over time, the jawbone fuses to the metal post and creates a sturdy foundation. Because implants restore the entire structure of the tooth, you can avoid further decay of the gums and jawbone, unlike other methods of tooth replacement.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Implants are a popular choice for people who are missing one or more teeth. They offer a more permanent solution than dentures or bridges, and allow you to eat and speak without worrying that your teeth will slip.
Dental implants are also one of the more natural-looking solutions to tooth loss. Because they’re installed into the jawbone and color matched, they simply look like all of your other teeth, with relatively easy maintenance. Other methods of tooth replacement, like dentures, require rinsing and scrubbing after you eat, and soaking overnight. Dental implants only require typical brushing, flossing, and regular checkups, just like the rest of your teeth.
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they help preserve the structure of your jawbone and gums. When you lose a tooth, the bone and surrounding tissues start to deteriorate. Over time, this can cause your other healthy teeth to shift and lose their structural integrity.
By providing support to the bone and tissues, dental implants restore the entire structure of your mouth and avoid problems in the future that can be painful and expensive to fix.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
It’s a common misconception that dental implants are only for older people. It’s possible to lose a tooth at any age, whether it’s from poor dental hygiene or an unfortunate accident. If you lose a tooth, no matter at what age, dental implants could be the right solution for you.
There are a few things that make you a good candidate for dental implants. In general, you will need a fully formed jawbone, relatively healthy surrounding tissues, and should have the time to commit to the healing process so your new implants continue to mend properly.
However, even if you don’t meet this criteria, dental implants could still be an option. There are procedures, such as a bone graft, that can strengthen the surrounding bone and tissues to make it suitable for an implant.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
Ultimately, you won’t know for sure if dental implants are right for you until you speak with a professional. Dental implants are installed by a dentist or oral surgeon, depending on your preference. A professional will evaluate your jawbone and gums to determine if dental implants are a viable solution for you. If they’re not, a professional can offer other solutions.