Even if you brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly to care for your teeth, there’s a good chance that your teeth aren’t in top condition. More than 80% of American adults say that out of all aspects of their health, their oral health is their top priority.
It’s not hard to see why. Nearly 80% of Americans have dealt with at least one cavity by the age of 17 and nearly all adults globally have dealt with tooth decay, which leads to discomfort and pain.
If you’re dealing with tooth pain, tooth discomfort, or tooth decay, you may be wondering what options you have for relief. One option you’ve got to fix your teeth and restore your smile is dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
It’s best to think of dental implants like screws. These implants bond with the bones in your mouth to become a sturdy base for a dentist to install a crown.
Essentially, the process works like this: an implant is placed in a patient’s jawbone, then a connector (also called an abutment) is put on the top of the implant. Then a crown is placed atop the connector. This process has been used successfully for more than 30 years, and ultimately, you’re left with custom-made crowns that fit your mouth and match your teeth.
Do You Qualify For Implants?
If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, you may be a good candidate for implants. After all, having missing teeth can affect the way you chew food and impact the appearance of your smile.
It’s best to visit a local dental specialist to see if you’re a candidate for implants, but generally speaking, there are some obvious signs dental implants are right for someone:
- You have a good bone density in your mouth to support an implant.
- You’re a non-smoker, or you’ve recently given up smoking.
- Your gums and teeth are in good shape.
- You’ve got a hygiene regimen that’s pretty effective.
- You have patience, since the dental implant process can take up to a year to be fully completed.
What Happens When You Visit a Dentist?
When you visit a dentist, the first thing they are likely to do is to look at your teeth and figure out why your teeth are missing. As part of that inspection, a dentist will check the health of your gums. They’ll look for signs of stress and inquire about what your oral hygiene regimen is.
Your local dental specialists are also going to look at your jawbone. The health of your jawbone is paramount when considering your candidacy for implants. If you’ve got a strong jawbone, it ups your chances because it means you can support the structure of the implant.
It’s often said that patience is a virtue and that couldn’t be truer than with dental implants. The whole process can take anywhere from four to 12 months from the consultation to the dental work to the healing. Bone grafts alone can add several months to the process since your gums need ample time to heal. It can also take several weeks to craft a new tooth before it goes in your mouth.
How Implants Can Benefit You
It’s estimated that dental specialists place north of five million dental implants annually. With so many implants being placed, there’s no denying there are effective. A big reason for this is that implants offer benefits that other tooth replacement options do not. Some of these benefits include:
Full dentures, partial dentures, and even bridges are all fine options for tooth replacement. One potential drawback? They are limited in how many teeth they can replace. If you’re missing multiple teeth, these options may not be the best for you.
On the flip side, dental implants can be incredibly versatile. It doesn’t matter how many teeth you might be missing; implants can be fitted with crowns to replace one tooth, a partial denture to replace multiple teeth, or a full denture by replacing all of your teeth. Everyone likes options when they’re faced with tough choices. With implants, you can go over all your options with a dentist to discuss how best to replace your teeth.
Make no mistake: the different steps involved with dental implants take some time to heal. But, because they are embedded directly into your jawbone, they can stimulate a tooth’s root. Being directly embedded also allows your new tooth to have plenty of strength and support. As your jaw heals, the jawbone will grow around the rod that’s embedded in your jaw, which helps hold the implant in place.
So what does all that mean for you? It means this type of cosmetic dentistry and this procedure is done so that you’re comfortable. With plenty of stability in the mouth, your new implants will feel just like your natural teeth. In fact, you might find they feel so much like your natural teeth that you forget they’re even there.
If you’re missing teeth and trying to decide between implants or dentures, implants ensure that your teeth are locked securely in place. After all, dentures can shift and become uncomfortable, especially if you’re using adhesive to get them in just the right spot.
A Confidence Boost
If you’re being honest with yourself, then odds are you’re somewhat self-conscious about your smile if you’ve got a tooth gap or missing teeth. If you’re out and about in public a lot, it can be hard not to think about what others may think about your teeth.
But fear not. Dental implants can give you a smile that you can be proud of. Since they feel so natural, you can smile with confidence and won’t have to hide your pearly whites.
A Natural Look
Top-rated dental services use the latest and greatest in technology to restore your smile. That technology will help your implants look and feel natural. If you’ve got a healthy mouth already, any implants you get will blend right in with your existing teeth.
By working with dental specialists in your area, you’ll get implants that are extremely durable. If you maintain a strong oral hygiene regimen, the implant or implants, should last you the rest of your life. You might have to replace your crown or crowns every 15 years or so, but in everyday use, your implants will hold up against normal wear and tear.
Easy to Maintain
Implants are actually very easy to maintain. The only thing you need to do is keep a good oral hygiene routine. This means you still need to brush your teeth at least twice a day. You’ll also need to floss and use mouthwash at least once a day. Even with implants, you should make sure to visit your dentist every six months for regular teeth cleanings.
This is perhaps one of — if not the biggest — benefits of implants. With the expert work of dentists, you won’t need to change much about your routine when the process is over. You’ll have durable, natural-looking implants that feel great, don’t hurt, and can be maintained with everyday steps you’re likely already doing.
Contact the Experts
Making the decision to get dental implants can come with a lot of questions. If you’re looking for the best dentist to restore your smile to its former glory, look no further than Dr. Kenneth Dubois and his staff and Comfort Smiles Dentistry.