For some patients who are missing teeth, conventional bridges or dentures are not always feasible options. This could be due to poor ridges, sore spots or even gagging. Also, bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the missing tooth, so if these adjacent teeth are weak or damaged, they may not be strong enough to hold a bridge.
In cases like this, dental implants may be a better solution. Dental implants involve metal posts or frames, which are positioned into the jawbone beneath the gums. Once in place, your dentist can mount replacement teeth directly onto them. If you’re wondering whether a dental implant is right for you, it’s best to understand what this surgical procedure entails. That’s why we’ve answered some common questions to help you make your decision.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants can provide sturdy support for artificial teeth because they fuse directly to your jawbone. Here are some other advantages:
- Artificial teeth won’t shift or wriggle in your mouth, making eating and speaking much easier
- Allows crowns and bridges to feel more natural than conventional prosthetic devices
- Because nearby teeth don’t have to be adjusted for implants, more of your natural teeth can remain intact
- With good care, implants can last a lifetime
Many patients appreciate dental implants the most because of their convenience. Unlike removable dentures, these permanent devices eliminate the hassle and embarrassment of taking out artificial teeth. Ultimately, dental implants become a part of you, improving appearance, comfort, and self-esteem.
Are there any disadvantages?
Despite all the benefits of dental implants, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. For starters, dental implants require a greater financial investment than removable dentures. But some people may feel the positives are well worth the cost. Here are some other aspects to consider:
- Implants require a time commitment — about three to six months from start to finish; but if you consider implants can last a lifetime, the investment seems quite reasonable
- Implants involve some risk of infection, which is typical of many surgical procedures
What does the procedure entail?
There are typically two types of dental implants: Endosteal and Subperiosteal. Depending on the type that’s right for you, the procedure will differ slightly.
This implant is surgically placed directly into the jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue has fully healed, your dentist will connect a post to the original implant. The final step involves placing an artificial tooth directly onto that post. Multiple teeth can be grouped together into a bridge or denture, then mounted as well.
This implant involves a metal frame that’s fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As the gums heal, the frame becomes fused to the jawbone. Posts, which are attached to the frame, will protrude through the gums. Artificial teeth can then be mounted to the posts.
How painful is the procedure?
The dental implant surgery portion involves some discomfort but patients do tolerate well with local anesthesia, and recovery time is usually quite short. Any mild soreness can usually be treated with an over-the-counter painkiller, such as Motrin or Tylenol. The subsequent restorative procedure is not at all painful.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate is to visit your dentist for an assessment. You must have healthy gums to support implants as they are much more invasive than other restorative procedures. Some patients may need bone grafting which is done at the same time we place the implants.
Patients with implants must commit to keeping them clean and healthy. If you’re qualified to receive this procedure, you must be diligent about your oral hygiene in the years ahead. Regular dental cleaning and check-ups are critical to the long-term success of your implants.
To find out more about dental implants, call Bristol Dental at 905-712-3409 or contact us here.