Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. They are typically made of titanium, which is biocompatible and fuses to the jawbone, providing a sturdy foundation for artificial teeth. They also help preserve bone and prevent gum recession.
However, there are some risks associated with dental implant surgery. Talking to your dentist about the benefits and risks is important before deciding if they are suitable for your oral health.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots placed into the jawbone to support one or more false teeth. The implant is made of metal, usually titanium, and is fitted into the missing tooth’s bone socket. Once in place, the bone around the implant fuses with the implant post, securing it in place.
Who is Eligible for Dental Implants?
To be eligible to get dental implants, you should be a non-smoker with healthy gums and sufficient bone density. It is also essential to have good oral hygiene habits and be free of gum disease.
Several conditions may preclude you from getting dental implants, including if you have diabetes, blood clotting disorders, or an autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. You may also be ineligible for dental implants if you have head or neck cancer for which you are receiving radiotherapy.
Benefits of Dental Implants
In addition to improving your oral health and boosting your confidence with a natural-looking smile, there are several other benefits to getting dental implants, including:
Dental implants can improve your appearance. Dental implants are securely anchored in your mouth, unlike dentures, which can sometimes slip out of place. This gives them a natural look and feel and means you can smile and speak confidently.
They can also help to preserve your existing teeth by preventing tooth misalignment and teeth from loosening in the socket. When you miss a tooth, the opposite tooth does not have enough sustained pressure from biting and speaking to stimulate tissue regeneration. This causes the connective tissue to weaken and the tooth to loosen, making it appear to grow downward or upward into the empty socket, a condition called supraeruption.
Dental implant posts can last a lifetime with proper care, while the restoration typically lasts between 15 and 20 years. Because bone resorption causes dentures to move around in your mouth, they must be replaced every 5 to 7 years. Dentures are also not as durable as implants, leaving them vulnerable to chips and cracks.
Dental implants can improve your speech. When you have missing teeth, the teeth around the space can shift, causing gaps. This can result in a change in the way your teeth meet, which can then impact the way you produce certain sounds when speaking.
Dental implants help to restore the natural alignment of your teeth, improving your speech as a result.
Risks of Dental Implants
Implant failure occurs when the implant does not fuse with the surrounding bone. This can lead to pain, inflammation, and instability. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed and replaced.
Risk of Infection
If you do not care for your implants after surgery with proper oral hygiene, bacteria can enter the surgical site and cause a serious infection, peri-implantitis. Peri-implantitis causes gum and bone tissue inflammation, leading to deterioration and implant failure.
In rare cases, a dental implant that is too long can compress or damage the alveolar nerve, leading to tingling, numbness, and partial facial paralysis. Nerve damage is often temporary and resolves on its own over time.
Arrange a Dental Implant Consultation
At Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center, we offer a consultation to discuss your dental history and any concerns you may have about the dental implant procedure.