According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 36 million Americans are missing all their teeth. Many people turn to dental implants to replace missing teeth and restore their oral health, smile and confidence. Getting dental implants is important, so before opting for the surgery, ensure you understand the process.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer many benefits over other forms of tooth replacement, such as:
- Looking and feeling like a natural tooth
- They are permanent; the implant post is designed to last a lifetime, while the restoration typically needs replacing every 20 years
- They stimulate the jawbone, so they do not move around in the mouth
- There is no special care beyond routine hygiene and regular dental checkups
Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for dental implants has healthy gums and adequate bone density with no significant health complications. Because healthy gums are essential, smokers and heavy drinkers are generally unsuitable candidates. These activities damage the gums, which prevents them from repairing post-surgery, resulting in implant failure.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are a popular treatment for missing teeth, but they must be performed in stages to allow for osseointegration. This process occurs when the implant fuses with the bone, which is essential for preventing the implant from becoming loose over time.
The dental implant procedure involves the following steps:
1. Initial Consultation
During the consultation, your dentist evaluates your mouth to clarify that you are a good candidate for the procedure. In most cases, they will also X-ray the area of the implant to ensure enough bone mass to place the dental implant safely.
If you have inadequate bone density or thickness, your dentist may prescribe a bone graft or sinus lift. A bone graft uses donor tissue to increase the bone density in the jaw.
A sinus lift moves the sinus membrane further into the alveolar ridge to make more room for a bone graft to increase the thickness of the maxillary jaw. You typically need three to nine months to recover before placing the implant.
2. Placing the Implant Post
You will be given local anesthesia and antibiotics before starting the implant. To start, your dentist makes a small incision in the gums to expose the jawbone. They then drill a hole to place the implant post. After placing the implant, another X-ray is taken to ensure the implant is placed correctly before the dentist stitches the gums closed.
3. Adding the Abutment
After the implant has had time to heal, typically three to nine months, the next step is to place the abutment. This small connector piece attaches the implant post to the dental crown. Your dentist will make another small incision in your gums and attach the abutment.
4. Attaching the Restoration
This is typically a dental crown but can also be a bridge or denture. The restoration will be made to match the color and shape of your natural teeth.
Risks and Complications From Dental Implants
Risks and complications associated with dental implants include peri-implantitis (inflammation of the tissue around the implant), nerve damage, and sinus perforation (a hole in the sinus cavity).
Fortunately, dental implants have a very high success rate, with one study finding a 95% success rate after 10 years. This is due to advances in implant technology and the increasing experience of dentists in placing implants.
Get High-Quality Dental Implants at Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center
At Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center, we are proud to offer quality dental implants to brighten your smile. Whether you are looking for a single tooth replacement or a full set of teeth, we can help. Our implants are made from high-quality materials and are designed to last a lifetime.
We also offer several financing options to provide you with affordable dental care when you need it. If you want to learn more about our dental implant services, contact us at our Deerfield location (224) 282-8939 or our Lakeview location at (773) 525-5545. We look forward to helping you rejuvenate your smile.