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Exploring the Benefits of Dental Implants
One of the most widespread dental problems among adults is missing teeth. This can be due to a variety of things including genetics, poor oral hygiene, lack of access to dental care, trauma, and more. No matter what the cause, missing teeth can lead to a variety of complications.
The good news is, there are options for tooth replacement. The most popular choice is dental implants. The team at Brownstown Dental Care has the experience and expertise to restore your smile and confidence with this tooth replacement option.
In this article, we’ll explain the truth about dental implants, as well as explore the benefits of dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function more like natural teeth. Therefore, they offer several benefits over other options, including:
- Improved appearance Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, which means they won’t slip and slide around when you are talking, eating, or laughing. Additionally, they support jawbone health and prevent deterioration, which means that you will look younger longer because you won’t have to worry about facial sagging.
- Increased comfortSince dental implants are placed in the jawbone, they feel more like natural teeth. You won’t have to worry about a bulky dental appliance in your mouth.
- Better oral health Dental implants function more like natural teeth, which means they support your oral health. Since they are placed in the jawbone, they don’t allow bacteria to get between the prosthesis and gums, as long as you practice proper oral hygiene.
- Improved speechOnce you have fully healed, you will be able to speak naturally. You won’t have to be concerned that your teeth will slip around in your mouth or fall out when you’re talking.
- Durability and longevityResearch shows that, when properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime. This involves proper oral hygiene:
- Brush twice daily, floss at least once
- Visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning
- ConvenienceDental implants are implanted into the jawbone, which means they become a part of your mouth. You don’t have to take any extra steps to clean them. Simply brush and floss as you would with natural teeth.
- Cost-effectivenessThe average cost of dental implants is around $5,000. However, since they are designed to last a lifetime, you won’t have to worry about replacement costs. In some cases, the prosthetic teeth need to be replaced after about 15 to 20 years, but with proper care and maintenance, they may also last a lifetime. Conventional dentures typically need to be relined or replaced every few years.
Reasons Not to Get Dental Implants
While dental implants do offer many benefits, there are a few reasons not to get dental implants:
- Upfront investment is more expensive than other options
- Requires oral surgery
- Dental insurance may not cover the procedure
- Process is lengthy
Procedure for Dental Implants
There are several steps involved in the procedure for getting dental implants. This process typically takes a minimum of several months from start to finish.
Initial consultation and evaluation
The very first step in any dental procedure is the initial consultation. During this visit, the dentist will perform a comprehensive exam. This will include x-rays and other necessary imaging. The imaging tests will determine if your jawbone is healthy enough to accommodate dental implants, as well as help with the proper placement of the implants.
The dentist will also review your oral and overall health, as well as your oral hygiene habits. You will be asked for your thoughts and expectations regarding treatment.
This information will be used to create your personalized treatment plan.
Preparation for implant placement
Some patients require additional procedures, such as bone grafting, sinus lifting, tooth extractions, or gum disease treatment.
If you have remaining natural teeth, the dentist will salvage them if possible. However, in some cases, extraction is the only option.
If you have been missing teeth for some time, your jawbone may have deteriorated. In this case, bone grafting may be necessary. This involves taking healthy bone from elsewhere and using it to build up the jawbone.
If you are getting dental implants in your upper jaw, you may need sinus lift surgery. This is a type of bone graft that lifts up the sinus cavity, preventing the implant from causing sinus damage.
If you have active gum disease, you will need to undergo treatment before dental implants can be placed.
Implant placement surgery
First, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area. If necessary, you may also be given a sedative to help you relax during the surgery.
An incision is made in the gum and a hole is drilled in the jawbone. The implant will be placed in the hole and the incision will be closed.
Healing and recovery period
Healing involves the process of osseointegration, which is where the jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant. This usually takes several months.
You will want to stick to a liquid diet for the first few days following surgery. Once you are comfortable with it, you can transition to a soft foods diet. You should stick to soft foods for a few months. As you are comfortable, you can begin to transition back to your normal diet.
Placement of prosthetic tooth
After osseointegration has taken place, you will return to the office to have the abutments placed and to order the prosthetic tooth. You will choose the material and the color of your teeth. Typically, it takes a few weeks for the teeth to be fabricated.
Once your artificial teeth are received in the office, we will ensure that they fit properly and then secure them in place.
Types of Dental Implants
There are three types of dental implants:
- Endosteal implants Endosteal implants are the most widely used type of dental implant. The implants are designed to be inserted into the jawbone, where they act as artificial tooth roots and can support one or multiple teeth.
- Subperiosteal implantsSubperiosteal implants are designed for patients who have some jawbone deterioration and are unable to undergo or wish to avoid bone grafting or sinus lift surgery. The implant sits above or on top of the jawbone.
- Zygomatic implantsZygomatic implants are designed for patients who have significant jawbone deterioration in the upper jaw and do not qualify for bone grafting or sinus lift surgery. The implants are extra-long and can support a dental bridge or overdenture.
Eligibility for Dental Implants
There are several eligibility requirements for dental implants:
- You must have good oral and overall health
- You must have adequate bone density
- You must practice proper oral hygiene
- You must be over the age of 18
Risks and Complications of Dental Implants
There are several risks and complications you should be aware of:
- Implant failure
- Nerve damage
- Sinus damage
- Allergic reaction
Aftercare for Dental Implants
Dental implants do not require any special attention for aftercare. You should care for them as you would your natural teeth:
- Proper oral hygiene: brush twice daily and floss at least once
- Dental visits: visit the dentist at least every 6 months
- Dietary restrictions: once you have fully healed, you should be able to go back to your natural diet with no food restrictions
- Lifestyle habits: if you are a smoker, your risk of implant failure is increased
Comparison with Other Tooth Replacement Options
Dental implants are not the only option for tooth replacement. There are a few others to consider:
- Dentures rest on top of the gums and require denture adhesive to stay in place. They are known for slipping and sliding around in the mouth and may even fall out. They may also cause pressure or friction sores on the gums, which impacts your oral health.
- Dental bridges are designed to replace several missing teeth in a row. A traditional bridge is supported by natural teeth on each side of the gap. This requires the natural teeth to be filed down to accommodate the crowns.
Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function more like natural teeth. This tooth replacement solution offers several benefits:
- Improved appearance
- Improved oral and overall health
- Increased comfort
- Improved speech
If you are missing one or more teeth and believe that you might be eligible for dental implants, schedule your consultation at Brownstown Dental Care today. We have several locations to choose from. We look forward to restoring your smile and your self-esteem.
Learn more about dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement solution that looks, feels, and functions the most like natural teeth. A dental implant can be used to replace a single missing tooth or as support for a full arch. Typically, patients need 2 to 6 implants to replace multiple missing teeth.
Dental implants are made up of three parts:
- Implant: small screw inserted into the jawbone to support the replacement tooth/teeth
- Abutment: the piece that secures the prosthesis to the implant
- Artificial teeth: this may be a single crown for a single missing tooth or a full denture arch to replace all of the missing teeth
What materials are used in dental implants?
However, the material used in the crown can impact the life expectancy of that component. Porcelain is designed to last the longest but is also among the most expensive. Composite resin is much more budget-friendly upfront but will need to be replaced much more often.
Many of our patients at Brownstown Dental Care who are on a budget will start with composite resin and will save up to have it replaced with porcelain when they are able to.
Hybrid dental implants are an ideal solution for patients who are missing most or all of their teeth. This process involves placing a few dental implants to support an entire arch of teeth.
Factors that impact longevity of dental implants
When considering the longevity of dental implants, there are several factors to keep in mind:
Quality of the dental implant & the crown
Just like with anything else, you get what you pay for. If you choose the cheapest option for your dental implants, you can expect to have to replace them sooner. Again, the implant itself should last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance- but the crown will need to be replaced.
On average, composite resin crowns will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, while porcelain should last 20 years or longer with proper care.
Maintenance and care of dental implants
As we’ve mentioned, proper care and maintenance will ensure that your dental implants last for a very long time. This includes proper oral hygiene practices:
Brushing twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste and using an alcohol-free mouthwash, flossing once daily, and visiting the dentist twice yearly for a cleaning and exam. During the exam, we will be able to spot any potential issues that could lead to implant failure.
Overall oral health
Before we place dental implants, we will check for any oral health issues, including gum disease. If found, gum disease will need to be treated before we can place the implants. If not, implant failure could occur. In this case, the implants will need to be removed and your jaw allowed to heal. In the future, we may be able to revisit implant placement.
What is the average lifespan of dental implants?
Esteem Dental implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. In fact, the implants themselves are designed to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants are the gold standard of tooth replacement solutions. They are inserted into the jawbone and act as artificial tooth roots, providing support for artificial teeth and stimulation to the jawbone to keep it healthy. Some of the benefits of dental implants include:
Improved oral health
Natural teeth are prone to cavities and decay. However, dental implants are artificial, so there is no way for bacteria to get in and cause the replacement tooth/teeth to decay. However, it is important to note that you still have to take proper care of them to avoid gum disease and other dental issues.
Improved quality of life
When you are missing teeth, it’s difficult to enjoy foods that can be tough to chew- but when you replace your missing teeth with dental implants, you get your bite force back. This means that you can eat anything you like and you can smile, laugh, and speak without having to worry about them falling out.
Missing teeth can have a major impact on your confidence. Many patients are embarrassed to smile and may even give up socializing because of it. Plus, missing teeth allows your jawbone to deteriorate because it no longer has the stimulation it needs to stay healthy. This causes your face to sink in, which makes you look older than you are.
When you replace your missing teeth with this natural-looking solution, you get your confidence back and therefore, your social life.
Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, so they are much more durable and reliable than other options. You don’t have to worry about your artificial teeth falling out or slipping around when you talk, laugh, smile, or eat. Plus, the jawbone fuses with the implant, making it a part of you.
Tips for proper care and maintenance of dental implants
Dental implants will last a very long time, possibly a lifetime, if you take proper care of them. Proper care and maintenance of dental implants involves:
Regular dental checkups
Ideally, everyone- especially those with restorations- should visit the dentist every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning. During this time, we will thoroughly examine all areas of your mouth to ensure that there are no issues. If we discover anything, we will be able to treat it right away so that it does not escalate and cause implant failure.
Proper oral hygiene
You should be brushing your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. Carefully floss around the implants to remove any food that may be stuck between the teeth. You can use an alcohol-free mouthwash if you wish to freshen your breath even more.
Avoiding bad habits
Habits such as smoking, using teeth as tools, and others can damage dental implants and ultimately lead to implant failure. If you have any bad habits, take steps to stop doing these things to keep your restorations looking beautiful for many years.
Is getting dental implants a painful process?
How long does the Esteem Dental Implant procedure take?
Are there any risks involved with getting dental implants?
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Brownstown Dental Care in Brownstown, MI is your local team for dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and other life-changing dental services. Your neighbors count on us for all their dental care needs. From general dentistry and preventative care to complex cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures, we are your team dedicated to providing quality, comprehensive care under one roof.
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