Why Implants Have Become So Popular
In the good old days in the dental profession, when you had a missing tooth, you would have to take off parts of the teeth on either side of the gap to make room for a crown to cover them so a bridge could be fitted to fill that space. To fill the gap of one missing tooth, you would essentially have to mess with two good teeth to fix it. However, with dental implants, the teeth on either side of the gap where the missing tooth is can be left alone while we deal with just the area where the missing tooth used to be.
While many people choose to never address missing teeth, that choice can eventually lead to other problems such as remaining teeth moving so much it interferes with your speech, smile or ability to properly eat. Using implants, which are artificial roots surgically implanted where missing teeth were, crowns can be affixed to them restoring your smile and mouth back or better than it used to be.
Why Choose Dental Implants
First of all, dental implants are extremely strong and stable and last for many years. While they might need to be replaced or tightened at times, normally it’s just the crown that will need replacing. If implants are part of a permanent bridge, they are very durable abutment teeth. Remember, these artificial roots are surgically planted in the upper or lower jawbone just like the real roots of your teeth. The difference is these are usually made of titanium so they are made to last.
When to Think about Getting Implants
If you need to replace one or more missing teeth and don’t want to affect good adjacent teeth, implants will:
- Restore your smile
- Support a dental bridge or permanent denture
- Correct bite issues caused by teeth moving into gaps from missing teeth
- Restore facial structure
What to Expect When Getting an Implant
Unlike a crown, implants can take multiple visits over several months’ time. That’s because it’s a surgical procedure and it takes more time to heal.
The first visit consists of x-rays to make sure there is enough jawbone available for placement as well as spacing and tissue of the gums to allow an implant to work. If it won’t, then you may have to go back to a bridge of some kind. If everything looks good, then the area where the implant will be placed is numbed and then it is surgically implanted in the bone of the jaw. It can take up to six months for the area to heal.
Some implants have the permanent post in place that the permanent crown is attached to while others require another visit to get the permanent post placed. You might want to discuss the differences with your dentist before choosing which one you want.
Once the area has healed, then another mold or impression is made to get the perfect fit for artificial tooth or crown. Remember, a crown covers the entire surface of a tooth or post down to the gum lines to protect the area from decay or debris. Sometimes it takes a couple of fitting appointments to get everything correct, so plan on that and you will be fine. Once fitted, the tooth or crown is attached permanently.
As with all dental procedures, getting back to good oral care and hygiene, followed by making sure you get your teeth cleaned every 6 months, is the best way to care for dental appliances and your own teeth!
To improve your smile and self-confidence, maybe all you need to consider is whitening your teeth…a simple procedure for trained professionals in cosmetic dentistry. Learn what you need to know about us at Legacy Hill Dentistry by clicking here.