Dental implants are small anchors or screws that are used to replace missing teeth. They are surgically embedded into your jaw during a clinical procedure. Once it has healed, a dental implant is a permanent, secure and comfortable way to replace lost or missing teeth. Today we are going to explain ‘what are dental implants’ and how they might benefit you.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent way to replace missing teeth. If you have lost one or several teeth due to decay, gum disease or trauma, a dental implant presents a predictable way to replace it. Unlike dentures, dental implants can’t be removed; they are placed into your jaw surgically and become integrated with your jaw bone.
Modern dental implants are made out of titanium or zirconia as these materials are biocompatible and well tolerated by the body.
Sometimes a dental bridge might be recommended as a tooth replacement. However dental bridges need you to have healthy adjacent teeth on either side of a missing tooth, in order to create a support structure.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?
Prevent Further Tooth Loss
Dental implants effectively do the job of tooth roots in your gum. They can prevent further gum and bone loss by providing stimulation, just like natural tooth roots. They can prevent the other teeth in your mouth from shifting around and trying to fill in gaps, and thus prevent future tooth loss.
Prevent Bone Loss
It is important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible. When you are missing a tooth for a while, the underlying gum and bone start to deteriorate. When you replace it with a dental implant you can preserve your bone. If you do not have a strong enough jaw that is thick enough to support a dental implant, you will need to have a bone graft procedure first. Bone grafting is done by taking bone tissue from another source and placing it surgically in your jaw. If it is successful, your jaw will start to regenerate and in time, should be thick enough to support a dental implant.
Preserve Your Facial Harmony
When you have lost teeth, your facial harmony can be affected. Missing teeth can cause the cheeks to appear sunken and hollow but by replacing them with dental implants you can restore fullness to your face.
Eat With Comfort
We need a full set of teeth to bite and chew our food, and to enjoy it. When you are missing teeth, eating can be a challenge. Dentures require a great deal of maintenance and can be uncomfortable to eat with. With a dental implant, you can exert the same amount of force as you would with your natural teeth.
Speak With Confidence
Smiling and speaking to others can affect your self-confidence if you are missing teeth. Ill-fitting dentures can move around when you speak. Dental implants are permanent, and most other people won’t be able to tell the difference between a dental implant and a natural tooth.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
On average a dental implant can be expected to last between 10 and 20 years, but some have been known to last for longer. The length of time your dental implant lasts will depend on where it is located in your mouth and your standard of dental care.
Are You A Candidate For A Dental Implant?
In order to be considered a candidate for dental implants, you need to have a high standard of dental care as well as enough healthy jaw bone.
You should not be a smoker, as smokers have much higher failure rates and are prone to infection.
You should also not suffer from any condition that may slow down or compromise your body’s ability to heal.
What Are Dental Implants Major Risks?
All surgical procedures carry a degree of risk and a dental implant is no exception. Your dental practitioner will take a full medical history and risk manage the procedure accordingly. Some of the bigger risks associated with a dental implant procedure include
- Nerve damage
- Sinus problems
- Damage or injury to the surrounding blood vessels or teeth.
Having a dental implant is a reliable and long term way to manage tooth replacement. The procedure does take place over a period of time, and between each stage, your body needs a chance to heal.
To find out more about ‘what are dental implants’ or whether you could be a candidate for implant surgery please contact us: (02) 8203 8760.
Dental implant procedure
What are Dental Implants?