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Dental Implants

 If you have a tooth or teeth that have been recently extracted, fallen out, or been knocked out, you’ll need to consider your options for a replacement. Without replacing your missing tooth or teeth, you open yourself up to a variety of oral health risks. The two main options for teeth replacement include dentures and dental implants. While they both have their advantages, not everyone is a candidate for implants. With that said, implants are strong replacements, and you’ll want to consider them and see if you are a candidate.

What Are Dental Implants?

 Dental implants are dental prosthetics that include a metal post that is placed in the jawbone of the patient to hold a false tooth in place. While there are hybrid models like implant-supported dentures, dental implants generally are intended to stay in place and not be removed.

Why Dental Implants?

Dental implants are meant to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. Unlike with dentures, dental implants are permanent installations that can last a lifetime (if properly cared for). Implants are not the same as veneers or dental crowns, as dental implants replace an entire tooth instead of part of the tooth. This includes the crown and the root.

Dentists prefer to save as much of a tooth as possible, so a dental crown may be placed if your tooth is damaged, but the root is still viable. If the tooth is beyond repair, though, your dentist will need to extract it. From there, they can decide on whether implants are the right replacement option.

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The Benefits of Dental Implants

There are a variety of different benefits to dental implants that you’ll want to consider. These include:

  •   Strength. As dental implants are secured to the jawbone of a patient, they provide a lot of support. Patients are able to bite and chew their favorite foods. While dentures allow for some support while biting and chewing, implants provide a similar experience to that of a natural tooth.
  •   Longevity. Dental implants are built to last a long time. Over the long run, they may actually save you money. The implant itself can last a lifetime. The crown that is attached will often last 10-15 years but will eventually need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear.
  •   Bone preservation. What many people don’t realize is that teeth (and teeth replacements) protect the integrity of the jawbone. Without a replacement, your jawbone may deteriorate significantly over time. To protect your jawbone, you’ll want to have an implant placed.
  •   Appearance. Dental implants can be made to closely match the look of natural teeth. Many people can’t even tell the difference. This means you can smile wide without feeling self-conscious.
  •   Speech. Over time, having missing teeth can actually change your speech patterns. Dental implants allow for the support needed to maintain your normal speech.
  •   Stopping teeth migration. Over time, your teeth will begin to migrate if you don’t have them replaced. This leads to crooked teeth, teeth impact, and crowding.
  •   Oral health. With crooked or crowded teeth, it can be very difficult to brush and floss. This, in turn, can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. For your overall oral health, you need to get missing teeth replaced.

These are just a few of the excellent benefits of dental implants. Reach out today for more information about how dental implants can improve your appearance, oral health, bite strength, and more.

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

There are a few things your dentist will consider before deciding on whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. The first is the viability of a tooth that is still remaining. If your tooth has been damaged, they will try to save the tooth. If it can’t be saved and needs to be extracted, replacement options can be considered.

Whatever the reason for a missing tooth or teeth, your dentist will want to replace them with either dentures or implants. Dental implants require a strong jawbone to place the implants. Over time, your jawbone will likely deteriorate. This is part of why it’s so important to have your tooth or teeth replaced immediately. If your jawbone does not have the integrity to place an implant, either dentures or a bone graft will need to be considered. A bone graft involves the dentist taking bone from elsewhere and grafting it to your jawbone to strengthen your jawbone. This process takes time and can be costly.

The cost of dental implants (especially if a bone graft is required) is a major factor in the decision to have dental implants placed or dentures. Speak with your insurance provider and our office to learn more about costs and payment options.

The Dental Implant Placement Process

The dental implant process starts with a trip to the dentist once a tooth has fallen out, been knocked out, or has been extracted. They’ll take a look at your gums, surrounding teeth, and jawbone to see what form of replacement you are a candidate for. If they decide you are a candidate for dental implants, they will set an appointment for the placement of the titanium screw or screws. If you need a bone graft, they will begin with that process.

After you’ve had the post/posts placed, you’ll be given around 4-6 months for the implant/implants to fuse to the bone. After the bone has healed, a false tooth or teeth will be placed via an abutment.

This is just a short overview of the procedure. For more information, speak with your dentist.