Millions of Americans suffer from missing teeth, which affects how they chew, eat and speak. Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth with a natural-looking prosthetic tooth that is secured to your jawbone with an implant. With a dental implant, the facial structure can be restored, bone loss reduced and chewing and speaking abilities normalized. Although a dental implant isn’t a real tooth, you still need to take care of it as if it is one of your natural teeth. The better you take care of your implant, the longer it will last. Find out what to expect when you get a dental implant and how to take care of it with this guide!
For years, patients with missing teeth have had to suffer from the inability to eat certain foods, sagging faces and self-consciousness. With the advent of dental implants, however, millions of patients are now benefitting from the freedom that implants give them on a daily basis. Dental implants are an alternative to missing teeth and dentures as they replace gaps in the mouth with natural-looking, artificial teeth that are just as strong and functional as real teeth are. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, and they’re placed into your jawbone to provide stability to both the bone and the implant. There are three parts of a dental implant: the implant itself, the abutment and the crown. The implant is drilled into the jawbone with an abutment, or connector, attached to the other end where the crown will be. The abutment holds the crown in place so that it can withstand eating, chewing and brushing. As a whole, these three parts help you eat, chew and speak better and are inconspicuous. Not only that, but dental implants are the best and strongest option to hold replacement teeth, and they look completely natural.
There are two main types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the most common and they are surgically placed into the jawbone. Two surgeries are typically needed to insert the implant and then attach the post that the crown will be connected with once the gum tissue has healed. The second implant, called subperiosteal, is a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone with posts that protrude through the gums. The crown is then placed onto the frame to complete the implant.
Dental implants provide many oral health benefits to patients who want a straighter, more beautiful smile. One of the main reasons why patients opt for dental implants is to fix the gaps in their mouths that are caused by missing teeth. Once placed, dental implants can last between 10 and 20 years, depending on how well you take care of them. The jawbone will shrink and weaken whenever a tooth root isn’t secured in that area, leading to a sagging face. Dental implants can prevent this from happening and preserve facial structure by providing support to your cheeks and lips. They also stop the progression of bone loss and keep gums from receding, which will keep your speech stable and understandable. Implants also help other teeth remain in their correct positions and prevent them from crowding into the space where missing teeth were once located. If you need dentures, dental implants help secure them without the messiness that accompanies the glue that most dentures use to keep them in place.
Even though dental implants are not actual teeth, you still need to take care of them like they are. Implants are made of titanium, which can’t decay, but the gums around the implant can. To prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease, make sure to brush and floss your teeth, including around the dental implant, to keep plaque from developing. If you aren’t flossing around your implant, plaque can accumulate around the adjacent teeth, which can lead to cavities. Having regular dental checkups will also protect your oral health as the dentist will be able to monitor the health of your teeth and how well your implant is doing. The better you take care of your teeth, the longer your implant will last, which will save you money in the long run.
At Stonebrook Family Dental, we are experienced with placing dental implants and can give you the smile you deserve. With our help, you won’t need to worry about missing teeth, speech problems or a saggy face; we will use the most modern tools and techniques to get you the smile that will last you for years to come. Call our office today at (303) 872-7907 to schedule a consultation for a dental implant and get your oral health back!