If you are having problems with your teeth and think that you may need dentures, there could be an alternative. You may find that choosing to have dental implants instead is a good idea. This is because they are often more comfortable and easier to manage than traditional dentures.
If you are thinking of choosing to have dental implants you may want to have more information about what they are and what the dental implant process involves. You will have the opportunity to get more information during a pre-treatment consultation. However, here is some advice about dental implants to get you started.
What are dental implants?
Put simply, dental implants are posts that are made from metal. These posts are inserted into the jawbone beneath the gums. Once these posts are in place, artificial teeth can be fitted onto them. It's also possible for frames to be used instead of posts.
Due to the fact that implants fuse to natural jawbone, they are stable. This means that the artificial teeth are kept firmly in place, in a similar way to natural teeth. This makes them feel more natural than traditional dentures. It also meals that you can eat freely when you have dental implants without worrying about them becoming loose.
Different types of dental implants
There are two types of implants which have been thoroughly tested for use.
These implants are placed into the jawbone. The gum tissue around them is then allowed to heal. Once this has happened a post is connected to the implant. The artificial tooth is then attached to the post.
Theses implants involve the fitting of a metal frame onto the jawbone. The gum heals around the frame and the metal post that is attached to the frame protrudes through the gum. The artificial tooth is then fitted to this post.
At this point, it's important to say that implants can be provided for a single tooth or several teeth. On some occasions a bridge is fitted to the implant rather than a single artificial tooth. If you decide to have an implant procedure carried out, you will be advised about which options are the best for you.
Why choose dental implants?
One of the main reasons that people choose to have dental implants is that ordinary dentures and bridges are not comfortable. This is because dentures are often not as stable as implants. In the case of bridges, they need to be attached to the teeth on either side of the space that needs to be filled. This is not the case with implants.
Before you make a decision about dental implants, there are some questions that you may need answered.
Can you have implants fitted?
You will only be able to have dental implants fitted if there is enough healthy bone to implant them in. However, there is the potential of carrying out a process called a sinus lift in order to augment the jawbone. The dental experts at Maida Smiles Dental Clinic can tell you whether you are able to have dental implants.
How much do dental implants cost?
Dental implants are usually more expensive than bridges or dentures. However, you do get the advantage of a natural, long-lasting replacement tooth option. You will be provided with full details of the cost of your treatment following an examination.
How long do dental implants remain in good condition?
One of the best things about dental implants is that they should last for between 10 and 20 years. However, as with natural teeth, they will only remain in good condition if you care for them in the right way. It's also worth mentioning that molar dental implants tend not to last as long as others as they receive more wear and tear.
Does it hurt to have dental implants?
There is no need to worry about undue pain if you decide to opt for dental implants. The procedure is often less uncomfortable than a tooth extraction. Unless the situation is very complicated, a local anaesthetic is used in order to carry out the process. After this has worn off there may be a moderate level of discomfort, but there should be no major issues.
How long does the implant process take?
There are some occasions where "instant implants" can be used, meaning that artificial teeth can be fitted straight away. However, in the majority of cases, it takes around 3 months for the post or frame to be stable enough for the artificial tooth or bridge to be fitted. Temporary crowns can be used to fill the space in the interim period.
Caring for dental implants
If you have dental implants fitted, you need to care for them in the same way that you would for natural teeth. There are several factors that can help make implants last longer.
- Brushing twice a day and using dental floss in the same way you would with natural teeth.
- Quitting smoking. This is beneficial because smoking regularly can weaken the bone in which the implants are placed.
- Attending the dentist for a check-up and cleaning every six months.
- Avoiding very hard foods such as hard candy. This is something that you should ideally do anyway and is particularly important if you want to avoid cracks appearing in the artificial teeth.
As you can see, caring for dental implants is much the same as caring for natural teeth. This means that you still need to pay close attention to your dental hygiene routine.
Dental implants at Maida Smiles Dental Clinic
The dental professionals at Maida Smiles work with patients to decide what dental implant options are best for them. If you think that you are interested in the dental implant process, you should make an appointment for a consultation. During this consultation you have the opportunity to discuss your situation and ask any questions that you have. You will then be advised about the best course of action for you to take.