Most of us consider our smiles to very important. More than 99% of American adults say it is important socially to have a good and healthy smile (according to a recent AACD survey). At least 96% think an attractive smile makes a person much more appealing when looking to date and a whopping 74% see a bad smile as being problematic for career advancement. You would think that, given how important our smiles are to people personally and professionally, that we would seek out help from dentists often but we do not. The average time between dental work is about three years. This could be the reason more and more of us need dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are basically replacement teeth. If you lose one or more teeth, there are several ways to replace them. Many people have heard of dentures, which is another way cosmetic dentists can take when they replace teeth. Dental implants are a little different in the only space they occupy is where the lost tooth was. Dentures require mooring over several teeth so the entire dental neighborhood is impacted when they are used. If only one tooth is the problem, dental implants provide a way to replace that tooth without disturbing the surrounding teeth.
What Is the Process for Getting Dental Implants?
The process varies a little from one professional to another but it basically follows the same path. The first thing you need to do is go to the dentist. If the tooth is still in place, you will need to have it pulled by an oral surgeon.
After the extraction is performed, you have to find out if you have enough bone to in your jaw to sustain a dental implant. This is done by taking an x-ray of your mouth. Because an anchor will be placed into the jaw, there needs to be sufficient bone there to support it. For most people, this is not a problem.
If all goes well, the oral surgeon will make arrangements for a dental implant. The next step is the implantation of an anchor into the jaw. This will be the foundation for the implant. After this has been inserted into the jaw, some time is left for it to heal. This time can range from a few days to a few weeks. After this, the oral surgeon will implant an abutment onto which a crown is placed. That is the real tooth replacement. The entire process is painless and can be done under general or local anesthesia. Some oral surgeons implant the anchor and the abutment at the same time. The success rate for both is pretty much the same.
What?s Happens Next?
Patients can treat their dental implants the same way they do their other teeth. The main difference is that the material used for the crown is not as strong as natural teeth and care should be taken to keep them clean and bacteria free. The surface for dental implants is significantly more porous than that of natural teeth and this leaves a lot more space for bacteria to hide and grow. The way these are cleaned is the same as what you do for natural teeth; brush, floss and use mouthwash. It is just more important that these new teeth be cleaned thoroughly to avoid any problems.
Despite this, dental implants have a success rate of close to 100%. They also have the added benefit of being permanent, unlike dentures which can be removed. Once dental implants have been put in your mouth, there is no way to take them out at home. They should blend into your mouth and fit in with the rest of your teeth. This makes them a much better option than traditional dentures, which can look like regular teeth but can make eating certain foods like corn be very problematic.
The best way to avoid needing dentures or dental implants is to care for your teeth by cleaning them regularly and seeing a dentist often. Most dentists recommend getting dental check ups every six months. If the time comes when you need replacement teeth, dental implants can be a preferable to dentures. They can absolutely be the way to get a natural smile after losing some teeth.