Answers to Your Questions About Implants
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a common option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures that rest on the gum line, dental implants are a long-term treatment that is surgically implanted into the jaw. These implanted, artificial teeth look like real teeth and have the same functionality as well. They are a more permanent solution to ordinary dentures and bridgework.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
There are many benefits to dental implants but the most common ones we see at Brewer Dental Center include:
- Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel more natural than dentures. Because dental implants blend into your jaw, they become permanent. Eventually, you won’t even notice them.
- Improved speech. Dentures can slip in your mouth, become loose, and make talking clearly very difficult. Dental implants, on the other hand, replace your teeth without requiring any sort of daily adjustments.
- Improved comfort. Once you’re used to the feel of your new dental implants, they are naturally a part of you!
- Easier eating. No more having to worry about not being able to eat your favorite foods! Since dental implants are fused into your jaw, they work just like regular teeth.
- Working teeth are not affected. With a tooth-supported bridge, nearby healthy teeth have to be reduced to support your replacements. However, dental implants do not affect working teeth, improving your overall oral health. Plus, it’s easier to brush between individual implanted teeth.
- They will last a long time. With good care, these durable implants can last a lifetime.
What is the procedure like?
Dental implants are implanted into the jawbone where they replace the roots of the teeth that are missing. The implants contain titanium. When implanted into the jaw, the titanium allows the growth of bone into and around the implant. This is called integration. The dental implants hold firmly in place and do not slip or make noise. There are different types of dental implants available and the way that dental implant surgery is performed will depend on the type of implant that is chosen as well as the condition of the jaw.
Who should get dental implants?
Dental implants are a good option for many people but they are the best option for people:
- Having more than one missing tooth
- Having a jawbone that has reached full growth
- Having ample amounts of bone to secure the implant
- Having healthy oral tissues
- Being unwilling or unable to wear dentures
Are dental implants safe?
Yes! Unlike traditional dentures and bridgework, dental implants do not cause any damage to the bone. Additionally, all of the material used for dental implants are safe and do not cause any decay. Still, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, should check with their healthcare provider prior to having dental implant surgery. Fortunately, most individuals with these conditions will receive the green light for the procedure, as long as certain precautions are met. Dental implant surgery is not recommended for children as their jaws have not yet reached full growth.
What are the risks associated with dental implant surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there are some health risks associated with dental implant surgery. Complications are relatively rare and when they do occur they are generally mild, requiring minimal treatment. Possible health risks associated with dental implant surgery include:
- Infection occurring at the implant site
- Damage to surrounding teeth or blood vessels
- Nerve damage
- Sinus problems
What are the side effects that come along with dental implant surgery?
Minor side effects of dental implant surgery include:
- Swelling of the gums
- Swelling of the face
- Pain at implant site
These side effects are relatively mild and often improve shortly. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or pain medications. You will be instructed to eat only soft foods for up to one week. Self-dissolving stitches are typically used.
Does dental implant surgery always work?
Unfortunately, dental implant surgery is not always successful. If the bone does not fuse to the implant, it will have to be removed and the procedure can be repeated. Still, this is incredibly rare. Maintaining good oral hygiene after dental implant surgery can help decrease the risk of complications and problems that may arise with dental implants.
I’m interested in dental implant surgery! What’s the next step?
A comprehensive dental exam and evaluation is required before the procedure can take place. This will include dental X-rays and taking a mold of your mouth to make a model of your mouth. At BDC, we have an entire team of dental professionals who will help to create your personal treatment plan.
Prior to the surgery, you will have the chance to discuss with your doctor the different anesthesia options available. You will have a choice of local, general or sedation anesthesia. Together with your dental specialist and health care team you can determine which option is the best choice for you.
Ready to take the next step? The Brewer Dental team would love to talk with you about dental implant options available. Call (406) 656-6100.
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