If you’ve ever been to the dentist, (and hopefully you have!), chances are you’re familiar with things like crowns or braces, but what about dental implants?
First used in the 1950s, dental implants refer to metal (typically titanium) posts that are surgically attached to your jawbone, providing a stable base for which to attach artificial teeth.
While you might also be familiar with prosthetic appliances such as bridges (which are cemented to surrounding healthy teeth), or dentures, dental implants are often lesser known even though they can help provide crucial support.
Here are 3 facts about dental implants everyone needs to know.
1. Dental implants are the best way to replace bad or missing teeth without disturbing any healthy ones
“As we consider some of the great things that have happened in dental history, you really have to include the ability to replace missing teeth with dental implants,” says Dr. Russ Homer, a Dental Implant Specialist at Brewer Dental Center.
Unlike bridges, which typically require grinding down the teeth surrounding the one being replaced so prosthetics can be attached, dental implants allow for minimal collateral damage – posts are inserted only into the space left vacant by the affected tooth/teeth.
Bridges typically leave a gap between teeth and the gum line, a magnet for trapping sneaky bits of food or bacteria that can lead to further tooth decay. Dental implants, on the other hand, allow for a much more hygienic environment and are not susceptible to the decay process.
Colgate’s Oral Care Center agrees on the benefits of dental implants, and says typically, the only requirements needed to receive implants include having healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.
2. Despite how it might sound, dental implant procedures are fairly painless
While getting metal posts inserted into your jaw may sound painful or even barbaric, the procedure is actually very routine, with minimal postoperative discomfort and very little to no downtime. . Success rates are high, and many patients can have teeth in as little as one appointment. While it depends on the complexity of each case and how many implants are being inserted, according to Dr. Homer most patients don’t need to take time off work and can manage most discomfort with ibuprofen or Tylenol.
3. Getting a dental implant can really make a world (or mouthful) of difference
For folks with dentures or for someone who needs dentures, there is a big concern about being able to eat the foods you love and need to be healthy. There is also the fear of being uncomfortable in social settings if their teeth move during eating or speech. Adding dental implants allows the denture wearer to snap their teeth or have them permanently fixed into place which offers a huge confidence boost and stability that can significantly increase your quality of life. Though dental implants and their benefits aren’t as well-known as Dr. Homer would like, he and the staff at Brewer Dental are working to change that with no cost educational implant seminars and free consultations.
“The most common thing I hear from patients is, ‘I wish I would have known about this earlier and why didn’t I do this sooner?’” Dr. Homer says. “That’s really the most rewarding part of this; helping people realize there are options out there to get them back to eating the foods they love and getting away from a loose or poor fitting denture. Their eyes light up as they realize how much better their life is going to be and that they can throw away their denture adhesive.”
For more about dental implants, you can call our office at (406) 412-6365 or contact us online.