Research shows that approximately 178 million Americans are missing at least one of their teeth. Commonly the reason for this is dental decay, bone and gum disease, or some sort of trauma. Also, people who smoke are at an increased risk of losing their teeth compared to non-smokers. Having missing teeth can not only affect people in terms of affecting their ability to chew foods, but it can also have a negative impact on your confidence. Further, having intact teeth is also important for protecting your overall oral and dental health. Thus, dental implants are a great and increasingly popular option for rectifying the issue of missing teeth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth. A surgeon performs an operation to place the tooth directly into your jaw. There are three parts to a dental implant; the titanium post, the crown and the abutment that is used to connect them.
What are the benefits?
Convenience- When dentures are used to replace missing teeth, they require adhesives and a specific cleaning routine. Dental implants do not need to be continuously fixed into place, and the cleaning routine is the same as for your natural teeth.
Better self-esteem- Getting dental implants will return back the smile you had before and help you feel good about yourself.
Ease of eating- When dentures slide, they can make it difficult to chew foods. Since dental implants behave just like your natural teeth, you will not experience any issues with chewing the foods you love.
Improved appearance- Dental implants are designed to look just like your natural teeth.
Improved oral health- Since the neighboring teeth do not need to be altered to support the implants, they can be left as is, which improves your long-term oral health. Also, when individual implants are put in place, it allows for easier access between your teeth and results in improved oral hygiene.
Durability – With good care, it is possible for dental implants to last a lifetime.
How are dental implants installed?
The process of getting dental implants will take several appointments and collaboration between your oral surgeon and dentist. The process will begin with your oral surgeon taking a close look at x-rays and bone scans with a view to making sure that your jaw has the appropriate strength to support the implants. When deemed necessary, a bone graft can be performed to improve the strength of your jaw. Once adequate strength has been established, implant posts will be surgically placed into your jaw and will begin to bond with your jaw bone over the coming months. This process is called osseointegration.
In your next appointment, the surgeon will attach your abutments and procure molds and pictures of your mouth. This information is sent to your dentist, who works in conjunction with a lab to design and create implants that fit your mouth perfectly. In the last step, the crowns are attached and your dentist will check your bite and give your implants a nice polish until they give you the shine you’ve dreamed of.
If you are missing teeth and looking to recreate the smile you’ve always wanted, contact the team at Novato Oral Surgery today to see if dental implants would be a good option for you!