According to the American Academy of Implant and Dentistry, every year, the number of people getting dental implants increases by 500,000. The importance of a healthy mouth, a beautiful smile, and the ability to eat anything accounts for the increasing popularity of dental implants. In addition, a healthy set of teeth lets us perform our daily tasks effectively and impacts our personality and self-confidence.
Whether chewing, eating, or speaking, our teeth play a crucial role in every activity. However, due to several dental conditions like cavities or medications, one may lose their teeth. You might not feel good if you have lost your teeth recently. Tooth loss, irrespective of the cause, is something that creates a lot of inconveniences. But instead of regretting what has already happened, you can seek solutions for your missing teeth.
Modern dentistry with technological advancements has premium solutions to aid tooth loss. Dental implants, bridges, and dentures are functional solutions to restore missing teeth. Teeth restoration options of today's world look and function the same as your natural teeth. However, no one except your dentist can tell if you have natural teeth or replacements. As per your oral condition, your dentist will suggest the most effective treatment for you. Let us understand the functioning of dental implants and how they revive the role of missing teeth.
What Are Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the tooth replacement options that function as naturally as natural teeth. When there is a lack of actual roots for installing dentures and bridges, the dental implant installation process is an alternative tooth replacement option. A dental implant consists of a small post that resembles a screw. This post is made out of titanium and serves as a replacement for the root of the tooth. This post is attached to a connector, also known as an abutment. The role of the abutment is to act as a link between the dental implant post and the artificial tooth. The visible part of the implant is the replacement tooth or the crown, which is customized to resemble the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth.
The dental implants are fastened to your jaw through a surgical process. Once the posts are placed in the jaw, the metal fuses with the bone. This process is known as osseointegration. Dental implants revive the functions of your missing teeth and provide stability and support to your jaw.
Who can get a dental implant?
The ideal tooth replacement option depends on your oral health and requirement. However, dental implants may be perfect for you under the following conditions.
- You lost one or more teeth due to cavities, injuries, or medications. And you are willing to get a permanent tooth replacement solution.
- You are an adult, and your jawbone has attained maximum growth. Dental implants aren't the best option for children or those who are still developing their jawbone.
- You have sufficient bone density and enough bone. It enables the implant to secure the jaw. If not, you have to go for a bone grafting procedure.
- You have good dental health. After the installation of dental implants, the gums and tissues around the post need to heal. Hence, your gums and oral tissue should be healthy.
- You can't or don't want to wear dentures. Dentures are conventional tooth replacement solutions, ideal for restoring multiple teeth. You can choose dental implants if you wish to replace a single tooth or a few teeth.
- You don't smoke or consume Tobacco. Nicotine and Tobacco prevent the metal post from fusing with the bone. It also decreases the flow of oxygen and blood, making it unfavorable for the installation of dental implants.
Types Of Dental Implants
Depending on your oral health and jawbone condition, your dentist might suggest the ideal dental implants. However, there are mainly the following three types of dental implants:
These are the most popular types of dental implants. They suit most people but require a healthy jawbone so the post can fuse with it. Endosteal implants consist of a base that resembles a screw. This post is put into the jaw so that artificial teeth can rest over it. Once the dentist installs a metal post, fusing it with the jaw requires some time. The jaw usually takes 4-6 months to heal and build a stronghold. After healing, the dentist places the false teeth over the metal post. This artificial tooth resembles the surrounding teeth' shape, size, and structure. And it fits well in your mouth. Endosteal Implants are a good option for people looking for a permanent and effective solution for their missing teeth.
If you don't like the idea of installing anything inside your jaw, you can go for subperiosteal dental implants. It is the main alternative to endosteal implants. The post rests on the jawbone and sits under the gums in subperiosteal implants. Unlike endosteal implants, it doesn't fuse with the jawbone. This process is used for patients with the insufficient jawbone for placing the implant. Also, people who don't want to undergo the surgical procedure of bone grafting prefer to go for such implants. In a subperiosteal implant, a metal frame with a post attached to it rests under the gum. The gums heal around the metal frame and hold it in place. The artificial teeth are connected to the poles that come out from the gums.
The least common type of dental implant is a zygomatic implant. They require a complicated surgical procedure. It is used in cases where the patients don't have adequate jawbone to hold the endosteal implant. This process doesn't include bone grafting to place the posts. Instead, the implants are placed in the cheekbones rather than the jaw.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a versatile treatment
Dental bridges and dentures have limitations on how many teeth can be replaced. Depending on the number of missing teeth, your options for tooth replacement may be limited. However, dental implants are a versatile treatment option. They can be attached to a crown and replace a single tooth. Implants can also connect to partial dentures and full dentures to replace multiple and all teeth.
Dental Implants are more comfortable
Since dental implants are fastened directly to your jawbone, they resemble a tooth's root. It provides increased support and strength to your jaw. When healing starts, the jawbone grows around the titanium post keeping it even more stable and firm. Due to this stability, the implants feel similar to your natural teeth and provide you comfort. Other options can't mimic the tooth roots, resulting in less stability. With dental implants, the bridges or dentures lock in the jawbone. It eliminates the possibility of loose and ill-fitting prosthetics.
Dental implants aid speech
Our teeth play a crucial role in forming certain sounds while speaking. When one loses a few teeth at the front, it causes an immense difference in speech. In addition, loose dentures tend to slide while you say, causing you to lisp. Dental implants can fix these problems. If you have a gap in your teeth, implants provide a stand for your tongue to press against while speaking. It enhances articulation and makes your speech better. Since implants are placed deep in the roots, they don't slip away or slide. Hence, you can speak without any worries and with more confidence.
Dental Implants enable you to eat what you wish.
When one loses a few molars, it severely impacts the ability to chew some food items. Getting dental implants restores the functions of missing teeth and lets you eat again. Since implants are fastened to the jawbone, there aren't restrictions on dentures with implants.
You can eat whatever you like, whether it is crunchy food items or chewy. Moreover, implant-supported dentures never slip out or side away while you eat. As a result, you can eat anything in public without embarrassment.
Dental Implants Look Real
Modern-day dental implants look and feel as realistic as your natural teeth. Your dental prosthetics are customized as per your smile to look real. If your natural teeth are healthy, your crown or artificial tooth is created to blend well. Implant-supported dentures also look original as they are made of acrylic material resembling your gums. Whether you get dentures with crowns or bridges with dental implants, no one can tell if your teeth are natural or you're wearing implants.
Dental Implants Increase Your Self-confidence
Missing teeth create a gap in the smile which can make you self-conscious. It can bother you about how you look and how it impacts your speech. With dental implants, you get a smile that not only looks but also feels natural. It allows you to smile and speak with confidence and enhances your self-esteem. You can do whatever you wish to without thinking about your teeth.
Dental Implants Promote Oral Health
Getting dental implants sounds like an invasive process, but it is a protective step for your remaining teeth. Implants don't negatively affect the remaining teeth but support and strengthen the jawbone.
Dental implants are anchored directly in the jaw and function the same way as natural teeth. On the contrary, dental bridges require the filing and reshaping of healthy teeth to support the crowns. Installing dental implants preserves the adjacent healthy teeth.
Dental Implants Prevent The Loss Of Bone
The roots of your teeth facilitate the growth of the jawbone by sending signals to your brain. If you lose a tooth, the jawbone at the place of the missing tooth begins to get absorbed in the body. As a result, it can change the structure of your face and make you look old. When you get dental implants, the titanium post revives the function of roots and performs the crucial function of sending signals. The post encourages the jawbone to grow and fasten around it during the healing process. Hence, not only it prevents bone loss, but it also protects the shape of your face.
Dental implants are easy to maintain
Dental implants with a crown on the top are very low-maintenance. It only requires good oral hygiene to care for the implants and ensure they last long. Maintaining dental implants requires brushing your teeth at least twice a day, using mouthwash, and flossing teeth once a day. In addition, visiting your dentist to monitor and clean your teeth every six months will enhance your dental hygiene.
Dental implants are durable
Once you get dental implants, you can remain tension-free permanently. Your dental implants can last for a lifetime with proper care and dental hygiene. However, you will need to replace the crown every 15 years due to wear and tear. In contrast, getting dentures requires adjustment for proper fitting, and you will have to replace them every five to eight years. Similarly, a dental bridge needs complete replacement after ten to fifteen years.
Dental Implant Installation Procedure
The procedure to install dental implants depends on your oral health and the type of implant you need. Any allergic reaction or a medical condition related to your jawbone may require several procedures for your bone to heal properly. If you go for a dental implant, you can expect the process to further in the following stages.
You will undergo a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth by your dentist. This step determines your jaw's condition and what dental implants are best for you. In the initial assessment, the dentist takes impressions, X-rays, and the color of your teeth so that the implants look as natural as possible. This is the stage where you discuss your requirements with your dentist, like how many teeth you want to replace with implants. Since implants may require additional preparation with other experts like periodontists, you should convey everything precisely in advance. If you are on medications or have some other medical condition, you may also have to take some antibiotics before your surgery to prevent infection.
At this stage, your dentist will remove any remaining teeth that need replacing. You can also have this process done simultaneously while inserting the dental implants. Your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area, so you don't feel uncomfortable. Removal of the tooth only takes a short time unless there is a fracture. After you get your tooth extracted, your dentist will advise you to avoid smoking, spitting unreasonably, smoking, etc. These activities can cause pain.
Bone Grafting And Inserting Dental Implants
Dental implants can be of two types. One is inserted in the jawbone and the other in the gum line. If you're getting implants in your jawbone, your jawbone must be thick and strong enough. It is because when you chew food, there is a lot of pressure on your jaw. If your jaw isn't strong enough not, then you may have to undergo bone grafting, in which an extra bone is added to your jaw. This bone comes from another section of your jawbone, which is away from the area of the implant.
After grafting, your bone has to heal first. Once it heals, your dentist will add the implants to your jawbone. After installation of the implant, the jawbone will start to grow around the implant making it a part of your gums. This process can take three to nine months and varies from person to person.
Placement of Abutment
Once your jawbone heals, and your implant becomes stable, the dentist places an abutment over the implant. The abutment connects the implant to your artificial teeth or crown. Your abutment must be tight, so it doesn't come out when you eat. Your dentist will provide local anesthesia to avoid any discomfort.
In some cases, dentists can place an abutment and the implant simultaneously. But since the abutment protrudes from the gum line, it is visible when you smile. To mask the abutment, the dentist will cover it with a healing cap so that the gum tissue doesn't grow over it.
Adding the Crown
As your gums heal, your dentist and the dental technician will create your crown. Depending on your choice, your crown can be removable or permanent. Permanent implants are screwed to the abutment or fixed with cement. In comparison, you can take out removable implants for cleaning. Once you install the crown, your dentist will instruct you on taking care of your implants and scheduling your next appointments.
Dental Implants Aftercare
Proper care for your dental implant ensures that you heal well and start resuming your daily activities as soon as possible. Here are some following points that you should remember after getting dental implants.
It is normal to experience some bleeding after your surgery. You may see a small amount of blood in your saliva for up to one day after the process. However, if you bleed heavily and your mouth is saturated with blood, you should contact your dentist. You may also experience nose bleeding a few days after getting implants in your upper jaw.
Taking care of your diet and checking the food items you eat after your surgery is essential. You should drink plenty of fluids and juices and stay hydrated. Avoid consuming hot drinks and food items until the effect of anesthetics goes away. Instead, ensure you eat soft food items such as mashed vegetables, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. While chewing your food, eat from the other side and avoid touching the food to the surgical site. Then, on your dentist's instruction, you can return to normal eating.
For any dental surgery to be successful, oral hygiene plays a significant role. Keep your mouth clean and rinse with saltwater solution after meals for a week after your surgery. Ensure the water isn't too hot, as it can cause harm. Next, brush your teeth as you would normally, but avoid touching the implant site for some days. When you feel ready, be super gentle while brushing the implanted teeth, as they will be a little sensitive. Use only a traditional toothbrush for cleaning your teeth, and avoid using an electric toothbrush or water jet. Also, wait to floss or use a toothpick anywhere near the implant site for at least a week after surgery.
Don't smoke or consume tobacco products until your wound is healed. Early smoking after the surgery can impact the healing process by limiting the blood supply to the jaw. Also, avoid consuming alcohol for a week after surgery, as it prevents the gums from healing.
Avoid any physical workout or exercise after your surgery. Physical activity can cause pain and bleeding. Also, due to the dental procedure, you won't be able to eat regularly for a few days. So, avoid going to the gym, so you don't feel weaker. Instead, allow your body to heal entirely and start with physical activities.
After getting dental implants, schedule follow-up visits with your dentist. Monitoring your oral health every three months will minimize the risk of infections. It will also ensure that your implants are clean and function perfectly.
Best Implant Dentist IN NJ
If you plan to get dental implants as a tooth restoration option, you must ensure that your oral health is in safe hands. The money and time that you invest should be well spent. Hence, it would be best to choose the right implant dentist. With rapid changes in technologies, there have been evolving implant designs, materials, treatment procedures, etc. You should not be afraid to ask your dentist anything about dental implants in Jackson Township, NJ, procedure. Look for dentists with genuine good reviews. You can also ask your close friends and relatives for a referral. Your dentist should cater to your dental requirements and make you feel comfortable and confident while getting the implants.
At Jackson Dental, we ensure that all your dental needs are being met successfully. We understand that thinking about getting dental implants can make you anxious. With specialization in dental implants, we provide world-class dental solutions while securing a comfortable environment. From the first dental visit to the final fitting of the crown, we walk you through the evening without any hassle. With patient-centered care and a highly specialized team at Jackson Dental, we ensure excellent oral health for you.
Irrespective of the reason, tooth loss can impact your life, personality, and health. But it is not rare, and you are not alone. According to estimates, nearly 178 Americans are missing at least one natural tooth. However, with teeth restoration options, you can go back to normal. Getting dental implants is one of the most successful solutions to missing teeth, having a success rate of approximately 95%. It not only allows you to revive the functions of missing teeth but also smile with confidence. In this era of technological development and modern dentistry, nothing should trouble you and stop you from living your life to the fullest!