If you have missing teeth, you may consider dental implants as a restoration option to replace them. A relatively new innovation, implants have become the go-to dental restoration option for many patients within the span of a few decades. However, just because they are popular does not mean they are right for everyone. You should discuss the possibility with your dentist to find out if you are a good candidate.
What should you find out about dental implants?
Implants offer many advantages. They are nearly indistinguishable from your natural teeth. You brush and floss them along with your other teeth and do not need to perform any special care. Dental implants rarely need to be replaced and should last you your whole life.
Nevertheless, not everyone is a candidate for implants, and they may not be right for you. Here are some things you should know before making your final decision.
There are different types of dental implants
The most common type of implant is the endosteal implant. This consists of three parts: A dental prosthesis, a connector piece, and an implant screw. With an endosteal implant, the implant screw is inserted directly into the jawbone. The prosthesis is visible in the mouth. It looks, feels, and functions the same as your natural teeth. Also called the abutment, the connector piece keeps the other two components together. Endosteal implants come in three different sizes.
The other type is the periosteal implant. Rather than being inserted in the jawbone, this type of implant sits on top of it, under the gums.
Dental implants are expensive but cost-effective
Prices vary based on multiple factors, but generally, you have to pay a lot upfront for dental implants. However, because of their durability, you rarely have to repair or replace them, so you should pay less for their maintenance over time.
You need to have at least one surgical procedure
The surgery to place a dental implant is a minor procedure. To access the jawbone, an incision is made in your gums. To accommodate the implant screw, the socket of the missing tooth is specially prepared. The gums are sutured to close the incision after placement of the connector piece. Before you can receive your dental prosthesis, the bone needs time to grow around the implant screw so that the two are inseparable. This is a process called osseointegration that typically takes up to six months.
The bone density of your jaw may not be enough to support a dental implant at first. Before you can receive your implant, you may require another surgery called a bone graft to strengthen it and increase the density. A bone graft requires its own osseointegration period.
Dental implants are an effective treatment option for many patients with missing teeth. However, you should find out as much as possible about the process beforehand to decide whether you can make the necessary commitment.
Request an appointment here or call Dallas Laser Dentistry at 469 838 5292 for an appointment in our Dallas office.
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