In today’s modern age, there is science and technology to address virtually any concern that you can think of and that even applies to the dental field. In medieval times, if you lost teeth or had missing teeth that never developed properly in the first place, then the unfortunate truth of your situation was usually that you simply had to live with your loss. However, nowadays there’s no need to settle for a smile that you’re not satisfied with thanks to all the advances that have been made in modern dentistry. One of the most innovative solutions for missing teeth is dental implants.
Dental Implants Defined
What exactly are dental implants? As their name implies, dental implants are dental appliances that are implanted into your gums. They actually consist of a metal stud that is surgically placed into the gum. The stud is what actually serves as the component of the tooth, and it also serves as the anchor atop which a cap or crown is placed. The cap or crown is what gives the stud the cosmetic appearance of a natural tooth.
Advantages of Dental Implants
There’s many advantages to having dental implants instead of other dental solutions, such as bridges, dentures and partial plates, for missing teeth, and these advantages are part of the reason why more and more people are beginning to turn to dental implants over other missing tooth solutions. Perhaps one of the advantages that holds the most appeal to many people is that dental implants are one of the most natural-looking and feeling solutions to missing teeth. With implants, you never have to worry about removing any dental appliances and cleaning them. Plus, they look just like a regular tooth, and no metal will be visible at all in your mouth. To top it all off, they function just like a regular tooth and offer a more permanent solution to missing teeth.
Candidates for Dental Implants
If your interest is piqued and you’re considering getting dental implants, then you’re probably also interested in learning whether or not you are an ideal candidate for dental implants. Many factors influence whether or not dental implants would be right for you. It takes more than just desire to get dental implants. In most cases, patients with the will and funds to get dental implants can do so, but you must also have a relatively healthy mouth and gums. Additionally, there must be enough bone structure available for your mouth to accept the implants. People who have little bone structure in their gums can still get dental implants, but in some cases, they might be required to undergo a bone grafting treatment first to build up enough bone structure to hold the implant.
Getting Dental Implants
Once you’ve determined that you want to get dental implants and have consulted with a dental professional who determined that you’re an ideal candidate for them, then you can begin the process of getting them. Dental implants consist of a relatively lengthy process. You don’t simply go into one visit to the dentist and then return with your implants done. Instead, you must meet with the oral surgeon who’s going to perform the dental implant surgery, and an individual treatment method must be developed. Oftentimes, the oral surgeon will work in collaboration with your primary dental care provider to ensure that all the specifics of your mouth and dental situation are taken into account.
When the actual implant process takes place, you will be administered anesthesia to put you to sleep throughout the procedure. The oral surgeon will implant the metal stud into your gum line where there is a missing tooth. A temporary cap or crown is usually placed atop the titanium stud at this point. Between 6 and 12 weeks after the implant, the gum line is left to heal and grow back up around the stud, securely anchoring it into the mouth. Once the healing process is complete, then the dentist can create what is called an abutment. The abutment attaches to the top of the stud, and then a permanent crown is placed atop the abutment to serve as your new tooth.
Colgate. “What are dental implants?” Retrieved on January 19, 2016, from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/implants/article/what-are-dental-implants.
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American Dental Association. “Dental implants.” Retrieved on January 19, 2016, from http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/i/implants.
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