Tooth loss can occur due to a variety of reasons ranging from an injury to periodontal disease and even to decaying teeth. Dental implants are revolutionizing the way we deal with missing teeth. Traditionally, dentures and bridges have been used to replace missing teeth. These do the job, but they do have their disadvantages. They tend to shift inside the mouth, especially while eating and speaking. Moreover, Dentures need to be removed and stored separately, which can be quite troublesome. When you get a bridge, the teeth adjacent to the missing one also need to be altered. Dental implants don’t have any of these issues and give you a more stable and long-term option to replace your missing teeth. Here is everything you need to know to before you decide to get a tooth implant near Allen, Texas.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants are the artificial roots on which the replacement teeth are placed. They are posts made of metal. Implants need to be placed surgically in your jawbone and they fuse with the bone within a couple of months. Dental implants are usually made of titanium and this eases the process of fusing the jawbone and implant. Unlike dentures and bridges, implants have a strong foundation and they are the closest you can get to real teeth. After placing the implants surgically, a process called osseointegration, the fusing of the implant with the jawbone, takes places.
Dental implants can be used for replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth or even all your teeth. If it is a single tooth that needs replacing, a single implant is placed at the location and a single crown is used for the tooth replacement. If multiple teeth need replacing, then a bridge that is supported by an implant is used. There are also full dentures or full bridges that are supported by implants available for replacing all missing teeth.
TYPES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
There are two different types of implants – endosteal and subperiosteal.
Endosteal implants: Endosteal implants are surgically placed directly into the jawbone. A post is connected to the implant once the gum tissue around it has healed. This procedure requires two surgeries – one for placing the implant and another for placing the post. The replacement tooth is then placed on the post. Endosteal implants are of two types – screw and blade.
Subperiosteal implants: Subperiosteal implants consist of two parts. The first part is the metal frame placed just below the gum tissue in the jawbone. The second part is the post that protrudes out through the gum and acts as the base for the replacement tooth. The metal frame becomes fixed to the jawbone as the gum tissue heals. This implant requires only a single surgery. Subperiosteal implants are most commonly used for patients who don’t have sufficient bone height for dentures.
The dentist near Allen, TX will recommend which of the above two types of implants you need after a careful evaluation.
PROCEDURE OF GETTING DENTAL IMPLANTS
Before the surgery, the dentist will assess the site of implantation and take X-rays and CT scans of the area to help them during the surgery. The factors that are taken into consideration before determining whether or not do the dental implantation are the location of the damaged or missing tooth, the health of the patient, the quality, and quantity of jawbone at the location of the missing teeth.
For the implant to be successful, an adequate amount of jawbone should be available for the implant to fuse into. If the jawbone is inadequate, then a bone graft is placed over the jawbone. When this happens, the placing of the bone graft is a separate procedure and it takes around two to six months to heal. The implantation can be performed only after the bone graft is successful.
During the surgery, the patient is given some form of anesthesia to numb the area. Then a small hole is drilled at the site of the missing tooth. This hole is slowly widened and the implant is placed into the socket of the jawbone. After the implant is securely placed, the gum tissue around the area is stitched up. The first procedure is now over and the implant is left to fuse into the jawbone. Depending on the type of the implant, you may need another surgery for fixing the posts. Osseointegration takes between two to six months. Once it is complete, the replacement tooth can be fixed over the implant site. Your surgeon will create a crown to replace the missing tooth by making a mold of your teeth and matching the exact the color of your teeth. This ensures that the tooth replacement does not look out of place and appears completely natural.
POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS OF GETTING DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental implants are a safe option for replacing missing or damaged teeth. But every surgery has some risks associated with it. Any existing medical condition needs to be evaluated carefully before the surgery. Smokers should stop smoking after the surgery as it can interfere with the osseointegration process. Infections are the most common reasons for the failure of dental implants. There is also a chance that the implant will fracture, the area surrounding the missing teeth may get damaged, the dental implant can be overloaded or poorly positioned. However, these failures are very rare and even when they do occur, the failed implant can be taken out and replaced with another.
FOLLOW-UP CARE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
As mentioned before, one of the leading causes of failure of dental implants in Allen, TX is an infection. To avoid infection, you must brush and floss regularly. When food is stuck near the implantation area and it is not cleaned properly, it can lead to build-up and growth of bacteria which can, in turn, lead to an infection. Smoking after surgery is another cause of failure of the dental implant.
After the surgery, there may be some swelling of the gums and minor bruising and bleeding. This is natural and is expected. However, if the bleeding increases, you should visit your dentist and get it checked out. you may need to take some medications to reduce the pain for a few days following the surgery. Excessive biting forces can lead to inflammation of the implantation area. You need to regularly check the area for any such inflammation and visit the dentist if it persists.
COST OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
A single dental implant can cost anywhere between $3000 to $4500. This cost includes crown and the surgery. Although this is a really high figure, the implant can last a lifetime. This justifies the high cost. But the main problem is, most of the time, insurance does not pay for the procedure. Even if they do, they only pay for the crown which constitutes around 10% of the overall cost. Insurance companies consider dental implants to be an elective procedure despite the fact that today it is one of the most common methods of tooth replacement.
ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental implants have several advatanges over dentures and bridges.
1. Dental implants are the best alternative to real teeth. They look and feel like real teeth. And since they are anchored to the jawbone, they are more stable. Bridges and dentures can sometimes cause the bone to deteriorate and will interfere with your daily activities. But this is not a risk with dental implants.
2. Dental implants are very durable. With proper care, you will never need to change them. Bridges and dentures last a maximum of seven to ten years. After that period of time, they need to be replaced. The cost of replacing dentures or bridges can add up over the years. So even if the initial cost of bridges or dentures is less than that of implants, implants turn out to be more cost-effective. They can last a lifetime and may only need minor adjustments.
3. Implants will let you have a normal life. It will not affect your daily routine. You will never have to worry about implants becoming loose and falling out while eating or speaking. Moreover, as they look exactly like regular teeth, you don’t have to feel subconscious or embarrassed about them.
4. Our teeth define our face structure. When a few teeth are missing, it will look as if your face is sagging. This can make you look older and you will lose the natural shape of your face. Implants replace your old teeth and leave no gap and therefore, help maintain your facial structure.
5. Dental implants prevent deterioration of healthy bone. The main function of the jawbone is to support your teeth. When a tooth is missing from the jawbone, it loses its firmness and strength. Tooth implants prevent further bone loss.
6. Dentures need to be cleaned in a solution in a container and you need to carry this container along while you are traveling. Also, since dentures just sit in your mouth, there is the chance of them falling out. You need to remove dentures for cleaning and then store them in a container at night. With dental implants, you can brush and floss just like you would do with regular teeth, Dental implants don’t require any extra care.
7. Dentures can affect your speech and make it difficult to pronounce some words. Dental implants, unlike dentures, allow you to speak naturally and properly.
8. You can eat whatever you like when you have dental implants. With dental implants, you can bite and chew food just like you would with your natural teeth.
9. Compared to bridges and dentures, dental implants are more reliable and predictable. They give consistently good results for replacing damaged or missing teeth.
10. Dental implants will have no effect on healthy teeth. When getting a bridge, the adjacent healthy teeth need to be ground and filed so it can rest on top. Implants have no effect on the surrounding healthy teeth and are therefore better for the overall health of your teeth.
DISADVANTAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
1. The dental implant cost is its biggest disadvantage. The initial cost is too high compared to other methods of tooth replacement like dentures and bridges. And since the procedure is not covered by insurance, it is not affordable for a lot of people.
2. Getting a dental implant is time-consuming. The healing time after each step in the process lies between two to six months. Assuming you have a good bone density at the area of implantation, you will still need six months for the osseointegration process, plus another two months of healing after fixing the crown. If you don’t have sufficient bone density, you will require a bone graft which adds more healing time. Getting dentures or bridges won’t even take half that time.
3. As this is a surgical procedure, all the risks associated with having a surgery, however minor, are definitely a disadvantage.
Before you opt for a tooth replacement near Allen, TX, you need to weigh the pros and cons. Despite the fact that dental implants cost more and are more time-consuming, the results are truly worth all the time and money. After all, it is important that you feel confident about yourself in front of others. And having an obviously fake set of teeth can stand in the way of your self-confidence. You can save money to get the implants and try to get the maximum amount covered by insurance. Dental implants are the future of tooth replacement and it will definitely make regular dentures and bridges obsolete. After all, missing teeth should not hamper your social life and self-confidence.