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Dona W. Prince, DDS

Dental Implants: 5 Things to Know

  • By Dona Prince
  • 27 October, 2015
blog

These days, people care about oral health more than ever. That means that a growing number of individuals are taking steps to improve the appearance of their teeth. Dental implants are one of the more popular procedures available for giving your smile an upgrade. But what does it involve? In this article, you’ll get answers to your questions about dental implants.

Photo via Flickr by US Army Africa

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are metal pieces that are surgically implanted beneath the gums. They consist of posts or frames that are positioned into the jawbone. Those metal pieces are then fused to the bone so that they can create a stable base for artificial teeth, including dentures and bridges. Essentially, the implant is used to replace the root of a missing tooth.

Who Should Get Dental Implants?

If you’re experiencing severe dental issues, your dentist may recommend bridges or dentures. Instead of having to position those pieces in your mouth throughout the day, you can have your artificial teeth mounted to dental implants. This prevents your dentures or bridges from slipping or shifting in your mouth.

What Types of Implants Are Available?

There are two types of implants that are generally safe and effective:

Endosteal implants

This type of dental implant is surgically fused to the jawbone. Two surgeries are necessary: the first fuses the implant to the bone, while the second connects a post to the implant. The final step occurs when the artificial teeth are attached to this post.

Subperiosteal implants

This type of dental implant is a metal frame that is attached onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. Is this case, just one surgery is needed. During the healing process in the gums following surgery, the frame becomes fixed to the bone. Posts on the frame will continue to protrude from the gums, providing a place to mount the artificial teeth.

What Are the Benefits?

Photo via Flickr by Rupert Taylor-Price

The biggest benefit to having dental implants is that it makes the artificial teeth more stable and more comfortable. Instead of shifting in the mouth, dentures and bridges that are attached to these implants will stay securely in place. This also helps to prevent sore spots and gagging, two other issues that can develop with artificial teeth. And unlike traditional dentures, those attached to implants don’t need to be removed to be cleaned.

For those who need bridges, getting dental implants also eliminates the need to grind down teeth on either side of the empty space left by a missing tooth. Rather than attaching a bridge to the adjacent teeth, it can be mounted directly to the implant for better support.

What Are the Risks?

Those who have unhealthy gums or inadequate bone to support metal frames or posts may experience issues after receiving dental implants. Fortunately, dentists and oral surgeons can screen for these issues beforehand to prevent unnecessary complications.

It’s important to take excellent care of dental implants through meticulous oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Failure to follow these care instructions could threaten the effectiveness of the implants.

Though dental implants generally cost more than traditional dentures or bridges, many people who receive them are very happy with the results. Consider having this simple procedure if you need artificial teeth.