Losing a tooth can be quite devastating for some people, especially if it’s one of your front teeth that is missing. The good news is that you don’t have to feel really bad about it since there are solutions just for such a situation. Your best bet is to go for a dental implant. Don’t know what dental implants are? This article should help you learn more about these dental devices.
What’s a dental implant?
A dental implant is exactly what the term implies. The missing tooth is replaced by a dental appliance that will form the root of your tooth. It is not the tooth yet as this will be served by another dental appliance such as a dental crown or a dental bridge. In some cases, a full denture may also be placed on top of the ‘dental root’.
Dental implants are generally made of really strong materials such as titanium, although bone-like ceramic materials have also been used. The most important criteria for the choice of prosthetic dental root is that it should not be attacked by your body’s immune system cells. This is to help reduce, if not eliminate, the risk of complications. Remember, you are actually putting a material that is not recognized by your body as a normal part of its composition. This makes it want to ‘attack’ the ‘implant’. You don’t want this to happen.
Are there types of dental implants?
There are two types of dental implants currently in use today. The first is an endosteal implant which is surgically implanted right into the jawbone itself. This is ideal for those who still have good bone density in their jaws. The second type of dental implant is called subperiosteal and is ideal for individuals who may not have the appropriate jawbone height to facilitate through-the-bone implantation. As such, the implant is positioned on the bone, not in the bone. Your dentist will determine which of these types of implants is perfect for you.
Why would you want to have a dental implant?
Dental implants offer you a lot of advantages over other solutions for missing tooth such as dentures. First, it saves your adjacent teeth. The problem with dentures is that they typically have to be anchored on existing teeth. This pulls on these teeth and can cause problems in the future.
Second, dental implants look more pleasing than other solutions. You can have your dentist make you a tooth that resembles your original tooth. Other people won’t even know the difference.
Third, just imagine what losing a tooth can do to you. Now imagine if you can restore that lost tooth or perhaps even make it a lot better. The boost in your confidence is simply phenomenal.
Lastly, dental implants are sturdy and reliable. When performed by an experienced dentist, you can be sure that it is a lot more durable than your original tooth.
How is it performed?
Having dental implants requires you to undergo a very comprehensive examination of your teeth. This is to help identify other problems that may coexist with your lost tooth. Additionally, this is to help determine the best approach to your plan of care.
Dental implants are a series of steps that will have you wearing a new tooth within 3 to 9 months, often depending on the condition of the rest of your teeth, the health of your jawbone, and how your body is integrating the implant as its own.
Your dentist will prepare the socket upon which the implant will be inserted. A hole will be drilled right into your jawbone upon which the implant can be inserted. This is a very painful procedure and as such you will be under general anesthesia. The implant will be left in place so that the tissues of the jawbone will integrate it into itself.
After about 3 to 6 months, your dentist will be ready to put on a crown or even an artificial tooth over the implant. In some instances, it may take up to 9 months before the implant is completely integrated.
Having dental implants may take a long time to complete. However, the results are simply breath-taking that you’d find all the right reasons to smile again.