Dental implants are metal posts (replacement tooth roots) that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them.
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
How do Dental Implants Work?
Because implants fuse (osseointegration) to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges, as well as individual
Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth. There are generally three phases to getting an implant:
First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone.
Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone” and takes time. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
Finally, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
How Painful Are Dental Implants?
Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.
After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications, such as Tylenol or Motrin.
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care (see below), implants can last a lifetime. Nothing else in Dentistry or Medicine can boast this success rate.
How Do I Care for Dental Implants?
Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups.
If you are interested in dental implants, it’s a good idea to discuss it carefully with Dr Yahnian first. If you are in good general health this treatment may be an option for you. In fact, your health is more of a factor than your age.
Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders — such as diabetes or heart disease, or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to Dr Yahnian to see if they are right for you.