For many years, when a person lost a tooth because of decay or injury, the only solutions were dentures or bridges. Dental implants offer a permanent solution that more closely replicates the look and feel of natural teeth.Dental implants are small metal posts that replace the roots of missing teeth. Dentists attach crowns to these…
Factors to Consider With a Dental Implant
If you are missing one or more teeth, getting a dental implant may be something you have considered. These implants are an excellent option for anyone who is looking for a more permanent solution to missing teeth and who are not interested in dentures. Most people have a general idea of what the procedure entails. However, many factors need to evaluated that may not be so obvious.
Common factors to consider
It is essential to think about the health factors that impact dental implants, such as jawbone size and density, smoking, and certain diseases. Also, it is vital to realize how much time it can take to receive dental implants. Multiple procedures may be needed, and there may be a waiting period while the implant site heals.
There are various factors impacting general health that need to be accounted for before moving forward with dental implants. Jawbone size and density are essential because the dental implant will need to be screwed into the jawbone. Over time, missing teeth can cause the jawbone to diminish. If enough time passes, the bone will not be suitable as an implant site, and failure rates will increase. To determine if the bone is sufficient, X-rays will need to be taken and examined. Additionally, smokers typically do not make good candidates and will experience higher failure rates because smoking can severely impact wound healing.
Certain health conditions can impact a dental implant as well. For example, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases can prevent wound healing. Gum disease and poor dental hygiene can negatively impact the process as well by causing infection. Lastly, certain medications can be damaging. According to a report published in Clinical Oral Implants Research, medications such as proton pump inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are associated with higher implant failure rates.
The length of the process
Often, dental implants are not an immediate solution. Patients will typically need to have X-rays to examine bone size and density. Additionally, teeth may need to be extracted and bone grafts may be needed, which can lead to a waiting period as the graft properly heals. However, sometimes, an implant can be inserted immediately after extraction when there is sufficient bone. It depends on the patient's specific situation. Lastly, there can be a waiting period between receiving the implant and getting the crown attached to the abutment because it takes time for the implant to fuse to the jaw bone fully.
Frequently asked questions
When people know what to expect with implants, they can make a better-informed decision about getting them or not. However, because it is an invasive and long process, individuals should continue asking questions.
1. What exactly does the implant process entail?
The initial part of the procedure involves cutting into the gum tissue and screwing in the titanium rods, which serve as the teeth roots. Once this area has healed and the jawbone has integrated with the rods, the dentist places abutments on top of the implants. These will help anchor the new teeth.
While the gums heal, a dental lab fabricates crowns, which will be the permanent teeth. Once they are ready, the dentist attaches the crowns to the abutments and makes any necessary adjustments.
2. How long until results are achieved?
The average length of the entire implant procedure ranges from seven to 11 months, which takes into account healing time and bone integration with the implants. If the patient requires a tooth extraction or bone graft, this time period increases.
3. Is there any special care required once the implants are in?
Even though the procedure is lengthy, most patients say that the end results are worth it. Not only do they look and function like real teeth, but they also do not require any special care. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings are all that are needed to maintain the implants.
Overall, many different circumstances will determine whether someone is a suitable candidate for a dental implant. It is a decision that needs to be carefully researched, and the pros and cons should be weighed. For many people who are in good health, do not smoke, and pay close attention to their dental hygiene, dental implants can be a solution that is beneficial for many years to come. These implants are often more convenient than removable devices and perform like real teeth, which is why they are becoming increasingly more popular in today's society.
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