Dental implants are metal posts or frames that dentists position into the jawbone just under your gums through a surgical procedure. Once placed, dentists can then mouth either a new bridge or replacement tooth/teeth in that same area.
Unlike dentures, implants are firmly placed in your mouth, so they won’t ever come loose. Or at least, not by accident. Dental implant placement has the added benefit of not needing to be anchored to the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, which is a requirement for bridges.
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How Dental Implants Work
Implants basically fuse to your jawbone, allowing them to provide the most stable possible kind of support for your replacement teeth. They won’t slip or shift, making them less likely to cause speech problems. Also, as a result of their secure fit, dental implants feel far more natural compared to dentures and/or dental bridges.
The downside with dental implants, though, is that they’re the most expensive method of tooth replacement. Even worse is that most insurance carriers rarely cover more than 10 percent of the fees, which is just unfortunate.
Proper Care And Maintenance
To receive dental implants, your overall oral health has to be checked and assessed by our dentist first. You’ll need to have healthy enough gums, with sufficient bone structure left to support the implant itself. Also, having dental implants means that you’ll have to commit to taking proper care of it, which includes meticulous oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last
Dental implants are excellent solutions for replacing missing teeth. The implants are drilled into the jawbone, allowing dentists to anchor a dental crown, the visible piece that poses as your artificial tooth. This implant is usually made from either zirconium or titanium, both of which are extremely durable. Your implant can last for over 20 years, as long as the patient takes good care of them. However, the abutment and crown usually require replacement every five to 10 years. This is primarily because they are exposed to food particles and the vast majority of chewing forces. Bruxism, a condition where the patient constantly grinds or clenches their teeth, can also reduce the lifespan of dental implants.
Here are a couple more tips to help make sure that your dental implants last for a very long time.
- Maintain a meticulous oral hygiene routine: If you didn’t have any reason to strictly stick to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once, you do now. Having implants makes it all the more important to take proper care of your teeth. You may also want to start using interdental brushes (brushes whose bristles are able to slide between teeth to help it clean areas that are typically hard to reach, especially around your implant).
- Quit smoking: Smoking has been proven to weaken bone structure, which is not good news for your dental implant. The fact that smoking is also bad for your oral health as it is a risk factor for plenty of dental complications and that it generally is just bad for you should be enough of a reason for you to quit smoking as soon as possible.
- Schedule regular appointments with your dentist: Recent news has made a new dental complication come to light, one that’s a direct result of dental implants. While peri-implantitis has yet to be fully understood, experts agree that it’s always preceded by peri-implant mucositis, which is a much more common condition that’s also easy to treat. Early warning signs include red, swollen, and even bleeding gums. And, by visiting the dentist regularly, your teeth and mouth are routinely checked for early warning signs of peri-implant mucositis so as to prevent it from progressing to the more serious peri-implantitis.
- Stop chewing on hard food: This has to be one of the hardest adjustments to make, especially since most people tend to chew on hard food almost unconsciously. But, since ice and hard stuff can eventually break down the crown and your natural teeth, such a change is necessary and may also be beneficial, even for those who don’t have dental implants.
Remember, the longevity and success of your dental implants depend on how well you take care of your teeth. Brushing your teeth, flossing, and regularly visiting the dentist can go a long way in making sure that you encounter little to no dental problems going forward.
If you have suffered tooth loss, you might consider dental implants. To ensure the best possible results Dr. Jonathan Ford will perform a thorough oral exam, complete with X-rays to check the condition of your jawbone and discuss all of your options. To schedule your consultation, contact the Ford Dental Group today.
Dental Implants Vs. Dentures
Tooth loss is a devastating event with severe consequences. Along with the impact, tooth loss has on the appearance of your smile, it can make eating and speaking more challenging. Your jawbone gradually begins to change shape as well, which can then throw off your bite and cause other issues. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced. Ford Dental Group can help you to determine the best treatment course for your needs. Two common options for tooth replacement are dentures and implants.
Dentures have long been the treatment for replacing missing teeth, and have been used for centuries. The dentures we use today, however, are a major improvement over their ancestors, providing a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing result.
- Dentures, which are made from impressions of your mouth, consisting of an acrylic base that is made to sit directly on your gums.The base holds acrylic resin replacement teeth.
- Dentures, which are removable prosthesis, can be made to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, called a full denture, or sections of missing teeth called a partial denture.
- Partial dentures also have metal clasps, which anchor on to your natural teeth to provide additional support for your prosthetic teeth.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Treatment
Dentures offer several benefits:
- Modern developments have made them more natural in appearance as well as more comfortable.
- They restore the basic functions of your teeth, enabling you to bite, chew, and speak normally.
- Your smile is restored, which can give you back your confidence.
While modern dentures are a vast improvement over older restorations, they still have some major disadvantages:
- They require additional care every night.
- They rely on your gums for support, and this tissue was not designed to handle the pressures that are exerted on it by the prosthesis.
- Dentures can come loose and rub your gum tissue, which can then result in painful denture sores.
- Because your jawbone continues to weaken even though your teeth have been replaced, dentures need to be replaced every few years.
Modern Day Dental Implants
Dental implants are a modern alternative to traditional dentures. They use small titanium posts to support ceramic crowns and can be used to replace any number of missing teeth. Dental implants are placed in a surgical procedure, during which the posts are implanted into the jawbone. As you heal, your natural bone fuses to the posts, integrating them into the bone and turning them into stable roots that secure your new crowns in place. The exact number of implants you need for your new teeth depend upon how many teeth you have lost and the condition of your jawbone.
Pros and Cons of Modern Treatment
Dental implants offer a vast array of benefits:
- They look and function just like your natural teeth. They also feel completely natural as well.
- Eating and speaking are restored.
- You get your beautiful smile, and your confidence, back.
- Implants are more comfortable than dentures. The posts support your teeth rather than your gums.
- They can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth.
- They are designed to be permanent.
- The posts stimulate your jawbone just like the roots of your natural teeth, preserving the integrity of your jawbone.
Despite the numerous benefits, implants do have a few disadvantages:
- They often cost more than dentures.
- They require surgery for placement.
- With surgery, there is a recovery period involved. The length of your recovery depends upon many factors.
- If you do not have enough bone mass to support the posts, you may need to undergo a bone graft or sinus lift first.
Questions About Dental Implants Vs. Dentures?
If you have lost teeth, it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible. For more information, and to find out which option is best for your specific needs, call Ford Dental Group to schedule your consultation today at (714) 409-6161.
Learn More About Dental Implants
- All on 4
- All on 4 vs Traditional Dentures
- Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
- Benefits of Dental Implants
- Dental Implant FAQ
- Dental Implants and Osseointegration
- Dental Implants and Titanium
- Dental Implants vs. Dentures
- How Does a Dental Implant Compare to a Tooth
- Are Dental Implants Safe?
- How to Maintain Dental Implants