Whether you have a scar story about getting your a tooth knocked out from stopping a hockey puck shot by Wayne Gretzky or you lost one due to an advanced stage of gum disease, having all your teeth intact — even if it’s with a dental implant — is crucial to your overall oral health!
Why is it important to have all my teeth?
Even if you’re missing a tooth towards the back of your mouth that’s not noticeable, having all your teeth is important for everyday functions. Not addressing a missing tooth may impact your ability to chew food and speak, or the space may begin to shift, which can impact your bite and make it increasingly difficult to replace it in the future, if you so choose.
So, the next natural question is, what are your options to replace a missing tooth?
Dental implants are an excellent, permanent option to replace any missing teeth. A dental implant does wonders for your oral health and can address your teeth in the following ways:
- Enhanced appearance – Dental implants mimic your own teeth, looking and feeling like your own. The dentals implants fuse with your jaw bone so they are permanent and don’t shift around in your mouth.
- Better speech – Missing teeth or dentures can greatly affect your speech. Sometimes, it can sound like mumbling or slurring, so dental implants alleviates this possibility.
- Improved comfort – Unlike dentures that you must remove, dental implants are a part of you! They’re fixed to the jaw and won’t move, slip, or fall out.
- Eating with ease – Dentures can also make eating difficult because they’re prone to shifting. Because dental implants function as your own teeth, this brings confidence to your eating and makes it much more enjoyable.
- Better oral health – Because dental implants address the tooth that is missing and doesn’t alter the teeth around it, like dentures do, more of your own teeth are left intact, which gives longevity to your teeth.
- Convenience – Dentures are not a fixed appliance, like a dental implant is, so you’ll avoid the inconvenience of having to remove them in inopportune times and the messy adhesive that secures them.
- Durability – Implants can last for many years, and even longer with proper care. You also don’t have to worry about losing or misplacing them.
Am I healthy enough for a dental implant?
This is assessed on an individualized basis, but in most cases, if you’re healthy enough for surgery, a dental implant is doable. Healthy teeth and gums are also important, since they’ll hold the future dental implant.
People struggling from any chronic health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease, or people who have undergone radiation in the head and neck region, may need to be further assessed.
What does a dental implant procedure look like?
The basic dental implant procedure is generally performed in two stages.
- Stage one – A dental implant screw or root is placed in the missing tooth space, and is comprised of titanium. The surgery to place the screw allows the piece to integrate with the jaw bone as a permanent fixture.
- Stage two – After the screw assimilates in the jaw, the dentist will insert what is referred to as an abutment, which is a piece that the crown is attached to. First, the dentist will fasten a temporary crown so your gums can become accustomed to the new structure, and then in the final stage, the dentist will replace the temporary crown with a permanent crown that blends flawlessly with your surrounding teeth.
While implants have a success rate of 98 percent, it is imperative that you practice a proper dental health routine, which should include brushing twice per day and flossing at least once. Without proper oral health habits, the dental implant will likely fail.
How to care for your new implant
Now that your new dental implant is in and integrated, caring for it is just as important as it is for all of your other real teeth! The same preventative dental measures are required — brushing twice per day and flossing at least once per day. Routine dental exams are also crucial so the dentist can monitor the dental implant to make sure everything is still in good standing. If you properly care for your implant, it will last many years.
Why not dentures?
- Dentures may be right for a specific person, but generally a dental implant is more beneficial. Dentures are usually more cost-effective but can weaken existing teeth because of the modification the and must support this new foreign structure such as a denture bridge.
- Dentures can also be cumbersome because you have to remove them each morning and night for cleaning. It’s also difficult to gets used to eating, because you cannot always sense the food in your mouth.
- Dentures also come with the risk of moving or falling out when chewing or speaking. This can be more of an embarrassment than anything.
Why the dentist is important
Choosing an experienced and professional dentist for dental implants is hugely important. The procedure doesn’t require surgery, but it does require a fusion of craftsmanship and skill. Experience is another thing you may want to look for, especially if you require multiple dental implants.
Dental implants do take time and require patience in the different stages, but stick with them, and you’ll appreciate their function.
Designer Smiles Dentistry
If you’re missing a tooth, getting it fixed sooner than later is always optimal. We’d love to help you create a new, beautiful, and functional smile!