When you lose your teeth, there are various solutions to call upon. Amongst all the possible treatments, dental implants stand as the most sought after solution. Dentists see them as a better alternative to bridges or dentures, mostly thanks to all the positives they bring to your oral health.
So, there are two key questions; what are dental implants, and why are they so important? We hope you find the following article helpful in understanding the answers to both of these questions:
What are dental implants?
If you lose a tooth, there will be a gap present in your mouth. Dental implants are metal posts that get inserted into these gaps. They’re surgically inserted, going right into your jawbone beneath the gumline. From here, your dentist can construct accurate replicas of your teeth to place on the implants, making it seem like you have natural teeth.
How are dental implants placed?
Getting dental implants is no easy feat. It’s a lengthy procedure that requires a full dental team. The process begins by assessing your mouth and seeing what type of implant will work for you. If you have one or two teeth missing in different places, then single tooth replacement implants are commonly used. If you have a few teeth missing next to one another, then multiple tooth replacement implants are called upon – typically using bridges.
When it comes to actually placing the implants, there needs to be an oral surgeon on-hand. This is a dentist with specialist training in oral surgery to carry out this type of treatment. To put the implant in place, they will drill precision channels into your jawbone. By using specialist equipment, they drill down through your gums and into the bone.
Next, the metal implant is inserted down through these channels until it makes contact with the jawbone. Then, it’s a bit of a waiting game. The implant needs to fuse itself to your jawbone to remain securely in place. More often than not, this can take anywhere between two or six months. When the dental team is happy that the fusion is complete, they will place your new dental restorations over the implants, keeping them firmly in place.
This entire process requires numerous dental professionals to see it through from start to finish. There needs to be a surgical specialist, a periodontist (someone that primarily deals with gum health), a restorative dentist (someone to help fit the crowns to go on top of the implants), and a lab technician that will create the tooth restorations. At Boston Dental, we have a full team capable of carrying all of these things out, providing you with top class dental implants.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are important because they provide you with some excellent benefits. One of the most obvious is that they’re aesthetically pleasing. By placing the restorations on your implants, you end up with teeth that look like the real thing. To the untrained eye, it won’t even be obvious that they’re replacements. So, this can do a great deal of good for your confidence.
However, the real benefits of dental implants go above and beyond the aesthetic appeal:
Preserves the bone
Whenever you lose a tooth, the bone surrounding them loses stimulation. As a result, it starts to recede. In essence, the bone melts away. Needless to say, when your jawbone begins resorbing, this creates issues. To make matters worse, you can’t really re-grow the bone, unless you undergo extensive surgery.
So, how do implants come into play here? When you attach the implant to your jawbone, it helps provide the stimulation that usually comes from your teeth. This is because they’re properly fused to the bone, which helps stop it from resorbing too much. As a result, dental implants prevent the process of resorption and preserve the surrounding bones. No other tooth replacement treatments can do this – it’s all because of the way implants are fused to the bone.
Keeps remaining teeth in place
The knock-on effect of resorption is that your teeth gradually start shifting out of place. This is down to the additional space in your mouth that’s caused by tooth loss. Any teeth near this gap will begin to drift and move out of their natural alignment.
Consequently, this presents you with a whole host of potential problems. They may shift so far out of alignment that your smile suddenly becomes wonky. Where you used to have a mouth full of straight teeth, you now have ones that are pointing all over the place. When you get dental implants, you stop all of this from happening. You prevent bone loss, and you fill the gap between your teeth. So, there’s nowhere for the existing teeth to go, keeping them in their natural positions.
Helps you chew food
A common issue with bridges or dentures is that they make it hard to chew certain foods. The false teeth aren’t firmly in place, so you can’t really eat things that require a lot of chewing. Or you can, but it’s very uncomfortable.
Dental implants are designed to prevent this problem. One of the reasons they’re so important is that they let you chew food properly. You feel as though you have a set of healthy teeth; it’s no different than how it was before you lost any of your teeth! By having the ability to chew properly, it allows you to eat whatever you want. Not only that, but the first stage of digestion starts in your mouth when you chew food. So, dental implants can help you digest food better.
As you can see, dental implants are very important for retaining bone and helping you maintain the main functions of your teeth. Along with this, they’re also far more comfortable than other tooth replacement options. With dentures, a lot of patients complain that they rub against their mouth and cause ulcers or bleeding. With dental implants, this isn’t a concern, so they’re far more comfortable to have in your mouth.
Do dental implants require maintenance?
Compared to other treatments, dental implants require very little maintenance. The only thing you need to do is look after your oral health. Brush your teeth as usual, and spend extra time flossing around the implants. This helps you prevent a build-up of bacteria in the gum tissue around your implant.
You will also benefit from visits to your dentist or hygienist. They can check your implants to ensure they’re still in excellent condition, and they use tools to clean the metal implant itself. You don’t need to pay regular visits every month or so, it’s typically an annual checkup – if that.
To conclude; dental implants are a solution to teeth loss. They involve metal structures that are fused to your jawbone, below your gums. It takes a few months for the implant and bone to fuse together, which then allows for crowns or restorations to be inserted onto the implant.
Dental implants are important because of the way they affect your jaw. By fusing them to the bone, it prevents resorption and helps maintain the function of your jaw. As a result, this also stops teeth displacement and keeps your teeth in their natural alignment. The fact that the implants are so secure also makes them more comfortable and makes it easier for you to chew food.
If you’ve lost any teeth, then you’re a potential candidate for dental implants. Contact Boston Dental today, and we can tell you more about this specific treatment. We’ll book you in for a consultation where we can inspect your mouth, check your medical records, and see if dental implants will work for you. Then, it’s just a case of going through with the treatment and providing you with some new teeth!