The Many Benefits of Dental Implants
Are you considering getting dental implants to improve or restore your teeth and smile? If so, you are not alone. According to the American Dental Association, over 5 million dental implants were placed last year in the United States.
Before undergoing any type of procedure, you will need some solid information so that you know exactly what to expect. We put together this guide to walk you through every step of the process, including the different types of dental implants, materials used, and the placement process itself.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a structure composed of three components that functions together as an artificial tooth. The first part of the dental implant is a root that is surgically placed inside the jawbone. We place a titanium post into the jaw, over which an abutment and crown are affixed.
Dental implants are the standard of care for restoring lost teeth. Not only do they totally restore tooth functionality without damaging surrounding teeth, but they also look exactly like natural teeth.
It may surprise you to learn that the first dental implant procedure was performed in 1965 in Sweden. Over the intervening decades, the procedure has been gradually refined using enhanced technologies and materials that make the procedure completely safe and available worldwide.
A dental implant will normally last for at least two decades. The exact length of time depends upon the patient’s health, aftercare, quality of materials, and the level of experience of the dental surgeon. Another factor impacting implant durability is that front teeth replacements tend to last longer due to less chewing load then implants placed further back in the mouth.
Who makes a good candidate for receiving dental implants?
Although dental implants make the best tooth replacement choice, they are not for everyone. In order to receive a dental implant, your jawbone must be strong enough to support it. This can happen if your tooth has been missing for an extended period of time due to something called bone resorption. Your jawbone needs the presence of a tooth root; otherwise, it begins to deteriorate.
The good news is that many patients are still able to receive a dental implant by undergoing procedures like bone grafts, ridge expansion or sinus lifts. As long as you are in good overall health and have sufficient jawbone mass to support a new implant, you should make a good candidate for this procedure.
The most popular choice for dental implants is a metal called titanium. The reason that titanium is so commonly used in dental implants is that it is extremely strong and biocompatible with your jawbone. The bone in the area will have no problem surrounding and firmly gripping the titanium post that forms the base of your new dental implant.
Titanium makes the best material for dental implants:
* Titanium is extremely anti-corrosive.
* Titanium is biologically inert and highly compatible with the human body.
* Titanium has properties similar to bone tissue.
Titanium, in its pure form, is actually too soft to make a dental implant. When we are talking about titanium as a construction material for implants, we are referring to various alloys, or mixtures of metals. So not every titanium implant is the same.
Zirconia is now being used for dental implants, since a very small number of people are allergic to titanium implants. Zirconia is a type of ceramic material that has metal traces in it.
Dentists usually prefer titanium implants. This may be because the zirconia form was developed after titanium implants; as a result, titanium has been studied more extensively than zirconia. Titanium has proven itself in terms of safety and effectiveness.
If you have a choice between titanium and zirconium implants, you may be wondering which type of implant is best for you. Titanium dental implants are comprised of two sections: implants and abutments. This affords us flexibility in terms of adjusting crown position. Zirconium dental implants are available in one piece only. Another consideration is that titanium dental implants are less expensive than zirconia.
Dental Implant Procedure
Getting a dental implant involves a number of stages and is considered to be a form of serious dental surgery. General dentists are not qualified to perform dental implant procedures. Only dentists with specialized training can do the job.
Five stages of the dental implant process:
2. Dental screw placement
3. Abutment installation
4. Crown fitting
5. Implant recovery and aftercare
In order to receive a dental implant, your jawbone must be strong and healthy, as well as your gums. So we begin with a thorough examination of bone structure, nerves and sinuses. If we determine that your gums and bone are healthy, this stage goes fast.
Dental Screw Placement
Placing the dental implant is the most critical stage. This is where the experience and expertise of your dentist really comes into play. After we have placed your implant, we will stitch up your gums to protect the area from becoming infected.
Healing time typically takes anywhere from four to six months. This stage is when your natural bone fuses with your new implant.
Normally, we can install your abutment after about six months. This is the part of your implant that will connect the crown to the post. Your abutment placement will take place under local anesthesia.
You might think of the crown as the tip of the iceberg. This is the visible part of your dental implant that provides a chewing surface that appears as a normal tooth. We can even match the crown color to that of your surrounding teeth.
Cleaning Your Dental Implants
Cleaning your dental implants at home is not unlike cleaning your natural teeth. Be sure to brush and floss on a daily basis. Keep in mind that bacteria and plaque can still form around your implant, leading to infection or gum disease.
Schedule Your Dental Implant Appointment
If you want the best teeth replacement option available, contact the office of Dr. Arthur Glosman today to schedule your dental implant consultation.