There are lots of reasons why tooth loss may occur. Problems like gum disease, infections, or even a physical accident can lead to missing teeth. And having missing teeth can bring about even more issues.
If you suffer from tooth loss, you know firsthand the pain that it can cause. People with missing teeth may have difficulty eating or may struggle with insecurities about their appearance.
Missing teeth can also be hazardous to a person's oral health. If left untreated, the gaps left behind by missing teeth can cause more serious issues down the line.
If this worries you, have no fear. There is a solution that can restore your smile: dental implants!
Dental implants provide an effective response to tooth loss. Wave goodbye to all the pain, inconvenience, and insecurity that you've been dealing with!
But there is some important information that you need to be aware of before you jump right into it. Here is everything you should know before getting dental implants.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants are a long-lasting solution for missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures, they are permanent and effective.
During surgery, a dentist will insert a metal post - usually titanium - into your jawbone. A false tooth is then carefully fitted on top of this post using an attached abutment. The post acts as a root for the new tooth and keeps it locked in place.
Dental implants provide a sense of stability and permanence that removable dentures do not. They improve your overall oral health and will help give your jaw the support that it needs.
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants are not "one and done." There are several different types of implants that you should be aware of to determine which type is best for you. Let's go through them.
Endosteal implants are the most common and the most effective, but they also take the longest. Getting endosteal implants is a long process, but the stability that they provide is worth it.
During this procedure, metal posts are screwed directly into your jawbone. Once these posts have properly fused with your gum tissue (which may take several months), you will need another dental implant surgery to have false teeth attached to the posts.
This type is the most common because of its effectiveness and convenience, but it also requires a firm jawbone to work properly. If you suffer from bone loss, this may not be the best procedure for you.
While still very effective, this is a less common dental implant procedure. This type of implant is better if your jawbone isn't strong enough to support artificial roots.
These implants are frames that go underneath your gums but only rest on top of your jawbone rather than penetrating it. They have attached posts that protrude through your gums. Like endosteal implants, false teeth are then fitted onto these posts.
Subperiosteal implants have several pros and cons. On the one hand, the treatment plan is shorter, and people whose jawbones are not strong can still receive this type of implant. But, although they are effective, they are also not quite as stable as endosteal implants.
All-on-4 implants are a good method for patients needing emergency dental implants. Since they only make use of the available bone in the patient's jaw, they're also good for people who can't support endosteal or subperiosteal implants due to bone loss.
All-on-4 implants can easily replace a full set of top or bottom teeth. They can even replace multiple teeth on the same day they were lost. If you have several missing teeth that you need to replace, all-on-4 implants are a good solution for you.
Mini dental implants, also known as MDIs, are essentially structured the same as traditional implants, just smaller. They're also less invasive than other types of implants.
Unlike classic implants, MDIs are usually less than 3mm in diameter and are only made up of one solid piece rather than requiring both a post and an abutment. They're also much easier to install since they can be screwed in directly through the gums, and they heal much more quickly than other types.
MDIs may be preferred for patients with narrower jawbones or patients undergoing an all-on-4 dental implant procedure. If this sounds like you, you should look into getting MDIs.
Tips to Prepare for Getting Dental Implants
Now that you know the basics of how dental implants work and the different types, it's time to get ready for your dental implant surgery. Here are some tips to help the procedure go smoothly.
Get a Preliminary Dental Exam
Going in for an exam before your dental implant procedure is very wise. It will help you know if your jaw can support implants and help the dentist decide which type of implant is best for you. Depending on your situation, you may need preliminary procedures to prepare your mouth for the implants.
You should also make your dentist aware beforehand of any medical conditions you have or any medications you may be on. This can be done during the exam and help your dentist develop a treatment plan for you.
Prepare to Pay
Before you commit to getting dental implants, you should make sure that you can afford them. The average dental implant cost ranges from $1000-$3000. This depends on various factors, including the type of implant you're getting or other procedures you may need before the surgery.
Make sure you look into dental implant insurance and other payment options before you make your surgery appointment.
Plan Around It
Dental implant surgery can take a toll on the patient. You'll need lots of time to rest and recover so that you can heal properly.
Have someone drive you to and from the procedure to be safe. Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing to the surgery for the best experience possible. It's also a good idea to take the next day off of work if the surgery hits you hard.
Since your mouth will be susceptible and sore after the procedure, you'll need to be careful with what you eat. Talk to your dentist about certain foods that are not allowed, and listen to their instructions. You don't want to do any harm to your new implants before they're fully healed.
Learn More About Dental Implants and Other Procedures
Dental implants are a fantastic way to restore your oral health and your confident smile. After your procedure, you'll be able to once again enjoy the benefits of a full and healthy set of teeth.
Request an appointment to learn more about dental implants today!