If you are anticipating replacement of a missing tooth (or teeth), several options are available — but a dental implant is one of the better ones.
Dental implants are a popular and effective method for people who have lost teeth due to injury, disease or other reason. Dental implants can help restore aesthetics and function, and can improve quality of life. Let’s explore…
Just what is a dental implant?
The term dental implant refers to a small, artificial tooth root that is placed in the jawbone to support one of these prosthetic devices…
- dental crown (a cap that looks like a natural tooth)
- dental bridge
Dental implants are made of a biocompatible material, such as titanium, allowing them to actually fuse with the jawbone. This process is known as osseointegration and it’s the magic trick that makes the implant so effective.
They are typically placed by a dentist or an oral surgeon, performed under local anesthesia. The healing process can take several months, but the results can be well worth the wait!
“Am I right for an implant?”
A qualified dentist, like at our practice, considers a number of factors to determine if an implant is the correct solution for a patient. Generally speaking, you might be a good candidate if you exhibit these characteristics:
Great state of health — This is important because you may undergo anesthesia, you need to heal properly and quickly and you need to avoid infection.
Enough bone density — For the implant to remain solidly in place the volume and density of the bone in your jaw much be sufficient. Today, a procedure known as bone grafting might be the solution to help bring your jaw up to snuff. Our examination will help determine this.
Great oral health — Conditions such as gum disease and extensive dental decay make it difficult to successfully install a dental implant. Good candidates have excellent dental health and maintain a regimen of brushing flossing and periodic exams.
Non-tobacco users — it has been shown that tobacco grossly interferes with your jaw’s ability to integrate a dental implant, so you need to be tobacco-free. If you are a smoker, you may have to permanently quit in order to return your mouth to normal.
Teeth grinding (bruxism) — implants are designed to withstand normal chewing, but continued pressure on the prosthesis and implant may eventually loosen them to the point of failure. Before deciding to go with an implant, you should be evaluated to help ensure you are not a teeth grinder.
How long does a dental implant last?
In general, dental implants have a high success rate. The lifespan of a dental implant can vary depending on a number of factors, including:
The patient’s oral hygiene: Proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly and visiting the dentist for regular cleanings, can help to extend the lifespan of a dental implant.
The patient’s overall health: Patients who are in good overall health are more likely to have a successful implant surgery and a longer-lasting implant.
The quality of the implant and the materials used: High-quality implants made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium, have a longer lifespan than lower-quality implants made of inferior materials.
The practitioner: The professional possessing sufficient skill and experience in implantation is more likely to do it correctly and minimize the risk of complications.
Overall, dental implants can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. In some cases, they may even last a lifetime.
How much does it cost?
The cost of dental implants can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the type and number of implants being placed, the geographic location of the practice, and the complexity of the case.
It’s important to keep in mind that, though dental implants aren’t cheap, they are a long-term investment in your oral health and overall quality of life. While they may have a higher upfront cost than other tooth replacement options, they can last for many years and can help to preserve the integrity of the jawbone and surrounding teeth.
Your dentist (possibly us) is trained in evaluating whether you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Visit us for a consultation!