Despite all the improvements in dental health care technology, many Americans still suffer from missing or damaged teeth caused by decay, injury or gum disease. According to facts from the US Surgeon General’s report, a person age 50 or older is missing 12 or more teeth on average. For many years, there have only been the choices of removable dentures or fixed bridges, but today there is an alternative choice of dental implants. In order to make the right decision, one needs to explore the advantages of this new technology and examine how one can benefit from the process of receiving dental implants.
1. The dental implant process is a multi-step process:
- A dental implant is basically an artificial replacement of the root of your natural teeth that has been lost. During the implantation process, a screw is inserted directly into the jawbone to mimic and replace the root. The material it is made of is titanium, which is also called a bio-inert material, which means that the bone believes it is bone and therefore reduces the chances of the body rejecting it.
- The dental implant, once secured, provides a strong foundation for the new and existing teeth. A professional cosmetic dentist will do an initial assessment on a new patient, which will most likely include panoramic X-rays of the mouth and impressions to make a model of the mouth. Further X-rays and investigation may be necessary to assess the bone quality and quantity. If an extraction is necessary it can at times be followed by immediate placement of the implant. Other times, it may be best to allow some socket healing time, especially if the extracted teeth were infected.
- General anesthesia can be used when the implant process gets extensive, though most often it is done while the patient is under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation. A protective cap that serves as a temporary tooth replacement will sometimes be used while the implant integrates into the bone.
- Several months can pass between the initial placement of the implant and any further work. The patient may have to put up with some initial discomfort, bruising and swelling, but the end result will be worth the time and patience it took to get the new smile.
- After the cosmetic dentist feels confident that the implant has successfully integrated, he or she will remove the cap and place what is known as the abutment into the implant. This will support the permanent restoration. Finally, the crown or bridge is cemented or screwed into place. This process as we have stated can happen in 2 or 3 appointments.
2. Implants remain permanently fixed to the jawbone and look and feel exactly like real teeth.
- They do not have to be removed like dentures at any point.
- There is no slipping or adhesive necessary as with less permanent dental solutions.
- Dental implants look extremely natural and are going to be the best solution for natural looking teeth that blend in with the rest of the mouth.
- The implants will last for a lifetime, which means that even though they can be costly upfront, they are a one-time investment that no additional money will have to go toward time and time again.
3. A lot of skill and training is needed to provide the patient with a successful implant.
- When researching the best cosmetic dentist for the procedure, it is not unusual to find some dentists who advertise same-day implants. This process can be less successful long-term, due to the fact that the bone has not had the proper time it needs to osseointegrate. This approach can be helpful to provide a tooth for “show”, rather than for function, and should be checked out carefully. Quicker is not always better. Choosing the right professional cosmetic dentist who is experienced and qualified is an important step to complete.
- The process of dental implants is one of the most innovative procedures and techniques that has been developed in the field of dentistry. With time, patience, and a qualified professional cosmetic dentist, one has the opportunity to have the dream smile with natural looking teeth, despite previous tooth loss.
For additional questions regarding cosmetic dentistry, speak with your experienced dental team, such as Biltmore Commons Dental Care, about your particular situation and concerns.