About 180 million Americans suffer from missing teeth, and if you make up part of this statistic, then you know all too well the problems it causes, such as a weaker bite, unclear speech, and an insecure smile.
It does not matter whether you need one tooth or a whole mouthful. Dental implants are usually the best solution since implant-supported dentures look and feel exactly like natural teeth. But what are dental implants, and why should you consider getting them? We are here to answer this question:
What Happens When You Have Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth can be a big deal since often it’s related to a process of bone deterioration in the jaw called bone resorption. That is why you usually notice that long-term denture wearers without teeth have a sunken, drawn appearance because the bone has slowly disintegrated.
What Are Dental Implants… Really?
Imagine dental implants as artificial tooth roots surgically fused underneath the gums and right into the jawbone. Once the metal posts or frames are in place, they become the foundation for crowns or replacement teeth.
Dental implants have three main parts:
- Base – typically made of Zirconium or Titanium; functions as the root of the crown
- Connector/Abutment – hexagonal or octagonal in shape, it is the middle part of the implant and secures the crown in place
- Crown – made from a ceramic material; the tooth-like top part of the implant that is built to look like real teeth
In general, expect the recovery process to take three to six months. If this sounds too long for you, remember that dental implants in Orange County heal faster than almost all load-bearing medical implants today. On top of this, once you realize that dental implants can virtually last a lifetime, those three to six months will go by in the blink of an eye!
Why Do I Need a Dental Implant?
You probably know that you can benefit from dental implants if you have one or more missing teeth. A missing tooth could happen because of cavities, tooth root fracture, Bruxism, gum disease, facial injury, or congenital reasons.
You could have other reasons for dental implants:
- To support a bridge (when you don’t want dentures)
- To secure dentures
- To fix your bite
- To improve your smile
What Are the Types of Dental Implants?
Using a porcelain-made crown will result in a natural-looking smile when it comes to aesthetics as well as function. Dental implants can support various custom-made crowns depending on your requirements. Which type would be the most suitable for you? Take a look below if you want to know how to choose between dental implant types:
Single Tooth Implants
A dentist may suggest single-tooth implants when one or more teeth are missing. For this dental procedure to be efficient, there has to be enough bone in the jaw since the bone has to be strong enough to hold and support the implant.
Multiple Tooth Implants
When you have multiple implants with two bases or your dentist has to extract multiple teeth and the surrounding teeth are healthy, multiple tooth implants may be the appropriate solution.
Additionally, multiple tooth implants don’t need support from adjacent teeth, unlike other common treatments for tooth loss. Removable partial dentures and fixed dentures usually rely on support from surrounding teeth.
Denture Supported by Implants
Implant-supported dentures have a more natural appearance and remain more secure than conventional dentures. They look and feel like normal teeth and let you bite, chew and talk as if your dental implants are your original teeth.
Also, implant-supported removable dentures allow you to care for your teeth more effortlessly than a fixed bridge since you can remove and thoroughly clean it and the abutment in your mouth.
Zirconia vs. Titanium Implant
As we mentioned earlier, your implant has two bases: zirconia and titanium. In this video, Dr. Maryam Horiyat, DDS. explains why you should go for a zirconia base:
How Should I Prepare for a Dental Implant?
Before the dental implant procedure, it is recommended to take certain steps to have a great result:
- First, inform your doctor about your medications and supplements, especially if you take blood thinners.
- Second: ensure you have checked with your primary doctor in case of any conditions that might affect your implant procedure.
- Third: discuss your sedation options so you are the most comfortable during your procedure.
- Last: talk to a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure.
What Happens a During Dental Implant Surgery?
Many people are concerned about what happens during the procedure exactly. Here is everything that usually happens:
- Getting anesthesia: your dentist numbs your gums first. If you want sedation, they’ll give you the sedation medication.
- Making an incision: Next, your dentist will cut where the dental implant goes.
- Preparing the jaw: your surgeon creates an opening in your jawbone as wide as the right diameter for your dental implant.
- Placing the implant: Your surgeon carefully places the dental implant into your jaw.
- Closing the cut: Your surgeon closes the incision with stitches.
What Happens After a Dental Implant Placement?
Your doctor gives you certain instructions after the procedure. They’ll also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. If you feel like you need painkillers, your dentist might prescribe some for the next few days. Here are general things you can do after your procedure:
- Take medications exactly as prescribed.
- Avoid exercise for 72 hours, at least.
- Chew on the other side of your mouth, or eat soft foods for a few days.
- Don’t forget to Brush and floss every day.
- Clean the area as directed.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer a wide range of advantages. Here are just a few of them:
- Restoring your smile in a natural-looking way
- Offering a long-term solution
- Helping protect your natural teeth and jawbone
- Making it easier and more comfortable to go about daily activities
- reducing symptoms due to TMJ
- Stopping adjacent and opposing teeth from moving
- helping you to have a firm bite and chewing power
- stopping your bone resorptions and preserving jaw bone recession
- preserving your facial contour and beauty
- Increasing self-esteem
What Are the Risks of Dental Implants?
As a result of modern techniques and technology, implants are also very reliable, receiving an impressive 95% success rate. Of course, dental implant procedure has potential risk. If you choose an experienced surgeon, the risk of complications is minimal. Possible risks include Infection, Sinus damage, Nerve damage, or Improper placement.
How Long Is the Procedure of Dental Implants?
Dental implant procedure shouldn’t last more than two hours, and the recovery time differs for everyone, but most people can return to normal life after three days. Of course, this doesn’t mean the end of the procedure. It still takes several months till your jawbone is fused around the implant. During this healing time, your surgeon checks your progress.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Right now, implants are the replacement option that lasts the longest. If you care for them properly and maintain them, they can last a lifetime. However, the crown on top of your dental implant will need replacing. On average, most of the crowns last for 15 years.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
The most frequently asked question is whether or not dental implants hurt. You will be happy to hear that an implant is easier to place inside the mouth than extracting a tooth. Also, you will be pleased to know that implants are usually conducted with a local anesthetic. However, if you like to be more comfortable and relaxed during the procedure, you can discuss it with your dentist and choose one of the possible sedation types that suit you. Although you won’t feel any pain during the procedure, just like when a tooth is extracted, you may experience some discomfort for a week after the surgery.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Yes, dental implants are generally considered very safe. However, If you neglect your implants, they will start to form a coating that looks like what happens to natural teeth when overlooking them. This can result in untreated gum infection, bleeding, soreness, and discomfort. The same results could happen with natural teeth if you don’t care for them.
How Much Do They Cost?
The cost of your dental implant depends on many factors. The following are just some of the questions you need to ask:
- How many implants do you need?
- What type of implant should you choose?
- Where do you need the implant in the jaw?
- Do you need an additional procedure (like jaw bone grafting)?
You might discover that other tooth replacement options are less expensive. However, you should keep the maintenance in mind. For example, bridges often need repair, which increases the overall cost. Dental implants are the best option if you take care of them well.
How Can I Choose a Doctor for My Dental Implants?
Receiving oral care is enough to make some people in Orange County squeamish, and getting dental implants is a bit more complex than a run-of-the-mill cleaning. With that in mind, you can take these steps to ensure that the professional you choose in Orange County to install dental implants is the best person for the job.
Ask Around for the Best Implant Specialist
The first step that you can take when selecting a specialist to install your dental implants is to ask any friends, family, or coworkers in Mission Viejo if they have any recommendations. It’s great to look at reviews of a dental professional on Yelp, Google, and other places online, but it’s even better if you can speak to someone who has visited this individual in the past.
Speak to Them in Person
Next, you’ll want to head to their dental implant center in Orange County. Talk to the staff, and speak to the dental implant specialist handling the procedure. You’ll also want to discuss what kind of insurance they accept. Dental implants can be costly, and you don’t want to deal with unexpected costs once the procedure has occurred.
Do You Have All of the Answers? It’s Action Time Now!
This article explained the question “What are dental implants” and why you should choose them. So, if you have a missing tooth or teeth, have one of our friendly and experienced dentists take care of your smile. Aria Dental provides an extensive range of exceptional dental implant services as Dr. Maryam Horiyat, DDS., is specially certified in ceramic implantology. Contact us to tell you everything about it!