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Dental implants have revolutionized the replacement of lost teeth. They are safer, longer lasting, and more cost effective than traditional dental bridgework and dentures. Below you will find some common questions about dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial titanium implant used to emulate the tooth’s root in the bone. A replacement tooth (dental crown) is placed on top of the dental implant to replace the missing tooth or teeth in your smile. Dental implants can be used to support a single crown, a dental bridge, or even a complete denture.

What Are The Advantages Of Dental Implants?

Dental Implants have the ability to provide the following life changing benefits:

-Dental Implants Feel Natural. They look and feel like your own teeth.

-Similar Maintenance As Natural Teeth. Not only do they feel comfortable but they are maintained just like our natural teeth. This includes brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings.

-Restored Chewing Ability. Dental implants allow you to chew all your favorite foods without pain/discomfort or fear.

-Improved Communication. With a full complement of teeth your speech will be improved.

-Conservative Treatment. Any surgery is rarely considered conservative but in this case it is. Dental implants preserve natural tooth tissue by avoiding the need to cut down adjacent teeth for conventional bridgework.

-Cosmetics. Dental implants have the ability to restore a lost smile making you more attractive to others.

-Preserving Bone. When teeth are lost, the bone in the jaws remodels and shrinks. When dental implants are in place the bone levels stay where they should maintaining a healthy bone structure in the face and jaws.

-No Tooth Decay. Dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay.

-Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem. With a renewed smile, you will feel better about yourself and confident in knowing you can smile fully.

How Many Dental Visits Will I Need For Dental Implants?

This depends on the individual patient’s tooth replacement needs. Generally 1-2 visits are necessary to diagnose and formulate a comprehensive dental implant treatment plan. Appropriate record taking (including models, x-rays, and possible 3D CT Scan is done as well as a thorough physical examination with the entire team of clinicians that includes the surgeon (periodontist or oral surgeon) and the cosmetic dentist. Then usually one or two surgical procedures are performed, each of them requiring 1 or 2 post operative visits.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

Pain or discomfort is usually quite minimal if any at all. After placement of the dental implants, the amount of pain or discomfort experienced typically ranges from mild to moderate and is controlled with appropriate over the counter and prescription medications.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants can and should last a very long time. Although nothing is forever, dental implants can last a lifetime. It is the dental crown, dental bridge, or denture that often wears down over time as a result of the extreme forces placed on it from chewing. As a result, dental crown replacement is necessary on average every 10-15 years. Factors that contribute to dental implant failure include:

-Failed Integration of Dental Implants - This occurs when the bone of the jaws does not grow and fuse between the threads of the dental implant. This fusion between the bone and dental implant is called osseointegration. If osseointegration does not occur, the dental implants will become loose, or come out completely. To reduce this risk, your implant dentist will evaluate the quality and quantity of the jaw bone prior to surgery. This will allow the implant dentist to only place dental implants in areas where there is an increased success rate. If osseointegration does not take place, the dental implants can be removed, and implant surgery can be tried again following complete healing of the area.

-Dental Infection (peri-implantitis) –  While rare, this is the most common complication of dental implant surgery. The surrounding bone and gums can get infected during or after the placement of the dental implants. This can happen due to poor surgical technique, a contaminated implant, poor healing ability (diabetic, smoker, osteoporosis medications). The most likely time for this to occur would be during the surgical placement of the dental implant into the bone. Implant infection is a condition referred to as peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis is characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tissues surrounding the dental implant. Peri-implantitis can also show up as a secondary infection later on. It is a form of periodontal disease that can lead to inflammation, bone loss and implant failure if not treated quickly and properly. Although dental implant infections are usually caused by the presence of bacteria during or immediately after the oral surgery for the placement of the dental implants, an implant infection can occur months or even years after the dental implants are placed.

-Damage To Surrounding Tissues - Dental implant complications related with surgical errors affecting adjacent teeth, nerves or sinus are directly connected to the experience and skills of the implant dentist. An implant dentist with the proper skill and experience is able to identify potential problems by examining x-rays or CT scan (computer tomography), design the proper treatment plan (including ideal location and angle), and execute it properly without complications. Even with the most experienced implant dentist there is always a possibility of dental implant complications. It is important to note that with experience comes an understanding of what can happen. This is important because an experienced implant dentist will be able to easily handle any complications that might come up either at time of surgery or afterwards.

Can Anyone Tell I Have Dental Implants?

No one can but you and your dentist will know that you have a dental implant. Even the patient themselves will not feel the dental implant in the jaw bone. The only way to know is with an x-ray which shows the dental implant in the bone.

What Is The Success Rate Of Dental Implants?

Studies have shown the success rate to be over 98% for all dental implants.

Dental Implants Conclusion

Dental implants are a mature technology with a very high success rate. If you are missing a single teeth or multiple teeth it is in your best interests for your long term dental health to see if you are a good candidate for dental implants. They are highly predictable giving you the ability to restore your smile easily.

 

 

Over time, our smiles change and may begin lose their youthful appearance. These changes can include a change in smile esthetics due to  loss of teeth. Teeth may be lost as a result of trauma, periodontal disease, fracturing, infection, and tooth decay. In the past, the only options for tooth replacement were a permanent cemented dental bridge or  a removable tooth or teeth set into some form of denture. Luckily, that has changed with the widespread use of dental implants. Dental Implants give the dentist and patient a better way to restore that smile and return it to its youthful appearance.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants have been researched and improved upon for quite some time now. Implants have been shown to be safe and successful (over 90%success rate) for the long term replacement of missing teeth.  A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth.  Dental implants can be used in a variety of situations including replacement of a single tooth, as support for a dental bridge, or as support for a denture (allowing it to be more comfortable and secure). Dental implants are a major part of cosmetic dentistry today. Only you and your dentist will know you have dental implants.

Best Options For Dental Implants

Dental implants, like most of dentistry, is highly personalized. The treatment plan will depend upon how many teeth are missing as well as the available quantity and quality of bone present. Below you will find some of the situations where dental implants can replace lost teeth:

-Loss Of A Single Tooth. The replacement of a single tooth with an implant can be done quickly and easily if there is adequate bone support. At one time, replacing a tooth meant wearing a removable appliance (commonly called a “flipper”) or removing natural tooth structure from surrounding teeth to create a fixed bridge of dental crowns. The flipper can be quite uncomfortable to wear and may affect speech and taste. The dental bridge, while a good option, may compromise the support teeth by having them do the work of the lost tooth, and by increasing the possibility of tooth decay over time. The long term success rate is lowered due to difficulties in cleaning under and around the bridge. A single tooth dental implant, when completed properly, will last a lifetime. The dental implant will function and look just like your lost natural tooth.

-Loss Of Multiple Teeth. When missing multiple teeth in a single area, dental implants can be used to form a fixed bridge. The beauty of this arrangement is stability and the ability not to affect the natural teeth in any way.

-Replacing All Teeth. In the past, the only way to restore a full dentition was to fabricate a removable denture that snapped into the implants. With newer techniques, dental implants have the ability to restore natural function and esthetics  and stay fixed tightly in the mouth. The new technique used is an all on four dental implants denture. Four dental implants are strategically placed to allow for a more secure, comfortable, immovable denture.

Dental Implants Conclusion

It has long been known that a full complement of teeth conveys beauty and youth. When teeth are missing we smile less and and are less confident in ourselves. Dental implants are a way to restore that youthful smile and confidence.

Many believe that once teeth are replaced with dental implants, they are there for good, and do not need to be cared for. Implants need to be maintained just like regular teeth.  While dental implants are not susceptible to decay, they can break down down due to force, chronic inflammation, or infection, and begin to fail. Failure for a dental implant is one that begins to have movement. It is important to care for your dental implants and to continue to see your dentist for regular dental examinations. Below you will find some of the top facts about maintenance of dental implants.

Maintenance Of Dental Implants Facts

-Dental Implants Can Last A Lifetime. Once a dental implant integrates into the bone, proper care should allow it to remain with you for your entire lifetime. It is a highly successful procedure with success rates above 98%.

-Dental Implants Attach In The Mouth Just Like Natural Teeth. This is a common misunderstanding. Dental implants actually fuse to the bone in a process called osseointegration. Dental implants are the only dental restoration choice that preserves and stimulates natural bone. Our natural teeth are not fused to the bone and instead are attached via a periodontal ligament. This ligament is made up of tiny fibers that act as a buffer (like a shock absorber) in between the tooth and bone. In fact a natural tooth has some movement even in a healthy state. It is undetectable to most people unless there is disease present.

-Get Teeth Clenching Or Teeth Grinding Under Control. Habits such as clenching or grinding, chewing ice, and contact sports can weaken the union between the dental implant and the bone, which could end up with premature loss of the implant.

-Infection and inflammation Can Spell Failure For Dental Implants. A dental infection or chronic inflammation is a concern for both dental implants and natural teeth. Regular professional cleanings along with diligent at home care can keep bacteria at bay. If the oral bacteria and plaque is not removed on a regular basis the gums and bone surrounding the implant will become diseased. An oral infection can develop. In natural teeth, this can present itself as tooth decay, periodontal disease, and loss of supporting bone surrounding the tooth. While dental implants are immune to tooth decay they can be threatened by dental bacteria breaking down bone and gum support. When an infection strikes around a dental implant it is called peri-implantitis. If this infection is not treated immediately, it can lead to bone loss surrounding the dental implant which will cause the dental implant to loosen. Remember a loose dental implant is a failed one.

-Maintain Your Overall Health. General health conditions that are not controlled properly, such as diabetes and heart disease can slow and decrease healing after the dental implant has been placed and increase the risk for periodontal disease. It will also play a role after the dental implant has osseointegrated making it harder to fight off infection down the road.

-Diligent At Home Dental Hygiene Regimen Is A Must. This should include proper brushing (at least twice a day), flossing (at least once per day), and waterpik with use of an antibacterial mouth rinse. This will not only help maintain your dental implant but the rest of your teeth as well.

-Maintain Regularly Scheduled Professional Cleanings. These visits to the hygienist are vital to reach areas that you are unable to at home. If these areas are left alone, it can lead to loss of your dental implant.

Dental Implant Maintenance Conclusion

Dental implants have been a modern marvel in the replacement of lost teeth. However, it is important to note that they need to be cared for in much the same way our natural teeth do. Excellent hygiene includes brushing, flossing and regular trips to your dentist will go a long way to keeping your teeth and implants healthy.

Dental Implants have become one of the most popular, and predictable procedures for tooth replacement offered in dentistry. They have been proven to be safe and successful for long term replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants are an artificial tooth root (usually made of titanium) that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. What can dental implants do? They can replace a single tooth, be support for a bridge, or as support for a denture (making it more comfortable and secure).

Dental implants are an ideal option for people in generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, or any other reason. Dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not cut down healthy teeth or rely on adjacent teeth for support.

Sufficient bone is needed to support the dental implants, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. So, proper oral hygiene is necessary for long term success. With technique and material advances, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone. Be upfront with your dentist regarding health issues. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who smoke. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.

Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Dental implant success is related to surgeon’s skill, quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s oral hygiene maintenance. Failure of dental implants is usually due to the failure of the implant to osseointegrate (fuse with bone) correctly, or vice-versa. It is considered a failure if it is lost, mobile or shows marked bone loss around the implant. Dental implants are not susceptible to dental caries but they can develop a condition called Peri-implantitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the gingival tissue and/or bone around the implant which may result in bone loss and eventual loss of the implant. It is usually associated with chronic infection. Peri-implantitis is more likely to occur in heavy smokers, patients with diabetes, patients with poor oral hygiene and cases where the gingival around the implant is thin.

More rarely, dental implants may fail because of poor surgical placement, not having enough bone healing prior to restoring with a crown or may be overloaded initially, causing failure to integrate. If smoking and positioning problems exist prior to implant surgery, dentists often recommend to patients that implants may not be the best option.Then they will recommend a bridge or a partial denture to replace the missing tooth.

Once restored, dental implants are very natural looking and the patient will not feel any difference after it is healed. You may even forget you ever lost a tooth in the first place. A person’s self esteem is definitely affected by his/her smile. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth.  Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure.  Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort  and confidence, there is good news!  Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions dental implants can last a lifetime.  Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for dental implants.

If you have lost a tooth or are facing tooth loss, you might wonder…….

Can I get dental implants? Ask your dentist, more often than not, the answer is yes!

 

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