Dental Implants 101: A Quick Guide

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Dental Implants 101: A Quick Guide:

Dental Implants 101: A Quick Guide


Getting the Right Information on Dental Implants If you’ve been considering dental implants for quite some time, there are some things to consider. The procedure is a serious one and you’ll need to know what to expect in order for the process to be successful. Here are a few things you should talk about with your doctor before you get dental implants. What Exactly Are Dental Implants and Do I Qualify for Them? It’s important to know that a dental implant alone is not an actual tooth. The implant is actually a prosthesis that is used to replace teeth that are missing. The implant is a post that is usually made from titanium. The post is fixed into the jawbone and a denture, partial denture or single crown can be attached to it. The implant needs time to integrate into your bone, and once this process is complete, the dentist will connect an abutment to the dental implant. This is when the artificial tooth is attached to the implant. So, there are three parts to the dental implant: the actual implant, the abutment and the artificial tooth. You’re likely a good candidate for dental implants if you’re missing a tooth, missing multiple teeth, or want to have all your teeth replaced with the implant. You’ll have to meet with your prosthodontist to talk about the exact implants and procedures that will produce the desired results.


The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants As you know, humans have two sets of teeth. We get teeth as children, and these teeth start to fall out, usually before adolescents. This is when our adult or permanent teeth come in. Once we have our permanent teeth and they are lost due to conditions like gum disease or tooth decay, dental implants can be used to replace these teeth. This is why dentists often refer to the implants as a third set of teeth. If you’re suffering from missing teeth, dental implants can help to boost your confidence, since they can last for a lifetime. The implants can improve your smile and appearance, and restore your ability to eat certain foods. Some people also get the implants so they can continue to live an active life without having to be concerned about their teeth. Also, since the implants are made from titanium, they will never become decayed. However, there are some disadvantages to getting dental implants that you should be aware of as well. Having the implants installed can be painful, since it is oral surgery. This means there is a risk of inflammation and infection. The surgery can also be painful. Your dentist and prosthodontist will let you know how to manage pain and reduce the risk of infection. If the oral surgeon finds that there isn’t a bone for placing the implant correctly, you may have to go through a procedure to graft your bone and gums. This will make treatment more expensive. However, paying to have this done could keep the implant in place, so you won’t have to have additional surgeries .


How Much Do Dental Implants Cost? For the most part, the cost of a single tooth replacement with an implant is about the same as using a fixed bridge to replacement the tooth. There are some dental implants that are covered by insurance. It’s best to contact your insurance provider to see if your procedure will qualify. The cost will also vary due to the bone quantity and part of your mouth that has to be repaired. Your prosthodontist will give you a thorough assessment based on your specific needs. How Successful Are Dental Implants? Dental implants are usually pretty successful. However, the actual success of your implant will vary based on your lifestyle habits and current state of health. If you have good health and practice regular oral hygiene, the implants can have up to a 95% success rate. Dental implants also tend to last for a lifetime because they are not susceptible to disease like natural teeth. However, it’s important that you maintain the health of your gums so that your implants will last as long as possible. This means taking care of your gums at home and keeping regular dental appointments for check-ups and cleanings. Since every patient has different dental needs, it’s best to consult with your dentist to determine how you should care for your implants based on your health history .


Are Metal-Free Implants an Option? Technically, there are not metal-free teeth options when it comes to dental implants. Most of the materials that are used as teeth replacements have metal ions. The implants are usually made of titanium alloy. This is the same material that is often used for hip, knee and shoulder implants. The implants are biocompatible. It is also very rare that people are allergic to titanium, which is why the material if most commonly used. There are no current alternative to titanium implants at this time. Alternative Dental Implants There are a few options for dental implants if you don’t want to go the traditional route. You can ask your dentist about the All-on-4. This is a trademarked surgery that allows you to replace all your missing teeth with only 4 implants. This procedure is ideal for people who have significant bone loss in the rear of the mouth. There are other alternatives to dental implants you may want to consider as well. These include load dental implants. These are also referred to as Teeth in a Day. The procedure is an immediate dental implant procedure that allows for placement of a temporary implant at the same appointment as your official dental implant placement. If there’s not enough natural bone in the mouth. Teeth in a Day makes the implant secure enough so that the placement of the tooth is accurate and there will be reduced pressure on the new tooth. You may also want to ask your doctor about getting mini dental implants or MDIs. These are also known as narrow or small diameter implants. The implants are about the size of a toothpick and they are much narrower than traditional dental implants. Techniques that are not as invasive are used to keep a lower denture in place .


Can You Make Implants Out of Dentures? Dentures can’t be transformed into implants. This is because the implants are screws made of metal that are inserted into the jawbone. The screws and their positioning serve as an anchor to keep artificial teeth in place. The implants help to keep the dentures from falling out and are part of the implant process. It’s possible to have implants under existing dentures for additional stability. This is only the case if the dentures you have are in great condition. Have your dentures examined if you want to use this option. Remember that dental implants are fixed into the jawbone. This means that teeth are replaced similar to the way that natural teeth are replaced. Dentures are most commonly used in patients who wear partial or full dentures. The implants can keep a removable overdentures in place. The overdentures are snapped over the implants and reduces or eliminates the need for denture adhesives or glue. Implants can also be used to hold a fixed denture. This is when the dentures are bolted to the implants using titanium. These can only be surgically removed from your mouth by a dentist. Dental implants come in a variety or types, sizes and heights. The dental implant expert can determine the right option for you based on your needs .


Two Main Implant Types The two types of dental implants are endosteal and subperiosteal . For endosteal implants, the implants are put inside of the jawbone. These are made from titanium in most cases and are shaped like tiny screws. Endosteal implants are used most commonly. Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gums and on or above the jawbone. If you don’t have a healthy jawbone or don’t want a bone augmentation to rebuild the bone, subperiosteal implants are the best option. If your jawbone can’t support dental implants at all, there are some techniques that the oral surgeon can use to restore your jawline and rebuild your bone. This helps to provide the right foundation for the implants. Bone augmentation involves regenerating or restoring the jawbone when the bone is not healthy or strong enough to support the implant. According to research, growth factors and bone additives fortify the jawbone and this usually yields successful results. You can also choose to get a sinus lift. This is also known as sinus elevation or augmentation. This procedure involves adding bone under the sinuses when the natural bone has been deteriorated because of missing teeth in the upper rear of the mouth. After evaluating your mouth, the surgeon may even recommend ridge expansion. If you want to get dental implants but your jaw isn’t wide enough, bone graft material can be added to a tiny space or ridge. This is created at the top of the jaw.


Dental Implants and Oral Hygiene In order for the dental implants to be successful, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene before, during and after the procedure. This helps to keep the implants and gums healthy. If you’re not sure how to maintain the implants, talk to your dentist about how you can care for the implants at home in between appointments. For instance, you may have questions about how to brush and floss your teeth, or what to do if food gets in between your teeth. These are just some of the reasons that the hygienist will give you a customized care routine to follow. One of the first things you should do is observe your teeth and gums. Your oral tissue should be firm, pink and keratinized. If you see any signs of infection, contact your dentist to set up an appointment right away. The peri -implant soft tissues that separates the tissue around the implant from the outer environment should be keratinized. If you see a lack of keratin, your mouth will be more prone to bacteria, which means you can get peri -implant disease. The health of your mouth and the implants depends on the health of the gums and tissues. It’s important to start taking care of your dental implants right away. It’s best to start cleaning your gums and the implant space before getting the implants if you can. You have to get rid of plaque and biofilm in your mouth daily for best results. More than likely, the hygienist will assign you a simple home care routine that you should follow between dental appointments. Be sure to keep all your appointments and follow the directions for your home care. It’s best to avoid stannous and sodium fluoride. You should also stay away from teeth stain removers and baking soda, since these ingredients are too abrasive on the implants. If you’re a smoker and previously used smoker’s toothpaste, once you get the implants, it’s best not to use this toothpaste, since it’s too harsh on the implant surface .


Brushing Your Teeth With Dental Implants Companies and researchers are currently looking at low-abrasive toothpastes and cleaners that are safe for implants and effective for cleaning. One particular brand that possibly has toothpastes that are safe to use is Colgate. A study was done involving 59 participants who used Colgate Total for a three to six month period. It was concluded that this toothpaste has to get rid of the plaque that can lead to gum disease. It’s also very important to floss your implants. There are several floss products on the market. It’s best to use unwaxed floss, or dental floss that is designed for implants. This type of floss protects the tissue around the implant. Flossing regularly keeps debris and bacteria from in between the teeth and gum line. It’s also recommended that people with dental implants use oral irrigators. This helps to eliminate biofilm and plaque and can reduce inflammation. If there are spaces that are hard to reach with floss, oral irrigators can prove helpful. It’s best to use the irrigator one or two times a day. If there is any inflammation, an antimicrobial rinse that has been diluted is best. These specifications could change depending on changes to your health. Continue communicating with your oral surgeon and dentist to continue getting the right maintenance tips for your teeth.


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