If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable or don't want to have good tooth structure removed to make a dental bridge, talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are an option for you.
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.
Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that your teeth might slip.
Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not changed to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to have a routine dental extraction (having a tooth pulled) or oral surgery can be considered for an implant procedure. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must continue to practice good oral hygiene and have regular dental visits.
Heavy smokers, people who have uncontrolled chronic disorders (such as diabetes or heart disease), or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering dental implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.
Poor oral hygiene is a big reason why some implants fail. It is important to floss and brush around the fixtures at least twice a day. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your new implants. Additional cleanings of up to four times per year may be necessary to ensure that you retain healthy gums.
Since implants involve surgery and are more involved, they cost more than traditional bridgework. However, some dental procedures and portions of the restoration may be covered by dental and medical insurance policies. Your dentist can help you with this process.
If you have any questions about your implants contact your dentist. Be sure to schedule regular dental checkups, too.