Around 178 million Americans are missing at least 1 tooth. Not only can a missing tooth have an impact on your self-esteem, but it can make daily activities such as eating and speaking difficult.
If you have missing teeth, then you might be wondering what dental options there are to rectify the situation. For instance, you can consider getting dental implants.
Are you interested in hearing more? Then read on. In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about tooth implant treatments.
Dental implants (or tooth implants) are essentially artificial replacements for your missing teeth.
They're not just superficial either. Not only do they look just like real teeth, but they feel and function like them too.
This is because they're made up of 3 separate parts: the implant itself, abutment, and a crown. The implant replaces your tooth's root, the abutment is a support post, and the crown is the replacement tooth that's placed on top of the abutment.
Once you're done with the healing process, there's practically no difference between your original tooth and the implant.
Firstly, dental implants can be done so well that no one can tell the difference between the implant and your real teeth. This means you can smile with confidence again, without worry that your teeth aren't in great condition. As a result, this can significantly improve your self-esteem and confidence, which can, in turn, improve your interpersonal relationships.
For some, missing teeth can cause speech impediments, which can get frustrating when you're always misunderstood and/or repeating yourself. Filling in those gaps with dental implants can help with clearer speech, which can also go a long way when it comes to self-esteem and confidence.
Missing teeth can lead to bone loss, which can cause you to lose other teeth and lose the shape of your mouth and jaw. Missing teeth can cause your other teeth the shift because they don't have the support of the missing teeth to keep them in place. This can cause your bite to be misaligned making eating and speaking more difficult and uncomfortable. TMJ issues may develop as a result. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants can prevent the deterioration of bone, the misaligning of teeth, and TMJ issues.
There are 2 main types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal.
Endosteal dental implants are ones that are placed in your jawbone. They're the most commonly used type of implant, as it's more robust and durable. These are usually made out of titanium.
On the other hand, subperiosteal dental implants are not placed in the jawbone. Instead, they're placed right above it.
This type of implant is used if the person doesn't have enough healthy jawbone tissue for the implant to go in. Usually, this can be fixed with bone augmentation surgery. But in some cases, this isn't possible or the patient doesn't want to go through the procedure.
Depending on your personal situation, our dentist might also suggest an alternative type of dental implant. Below are some of them.
These are temporary, meaning you'll have a replacement tooth after your initial implant placement appointment. This can provide you with some convenience and comfort while you wait for the implant to heal.
These are also known as narrow or small diameter implants. As the name implies, they're a lot smaller than normal implants.
If you have dentures on your lower teeth, then MDIs may be used to stabilize them.
All-on-4 is a great alternative to getting full sets of dentures. The "4" stands for the 4 implants that are put in throughout your mouth. If you need both top and bottom dentures, then you'll have 8 implants in total.
You'll be fitted with temporary abutments while the implants heal (around 6 months). Then, they'll be swapped out with replacement teeth that are permanent.
In general, the success rate for a tooth implant is excellent. In the past decade, the reported success rate is anywhere between 90% and 95%.
Dental implants mostly fail because of these factors:
This is why it's important to discuss with our dentist any medical issues you have prior to dental implant treatment.
If they're done correctly and the patient takes good care of their dental implants, they can last several decades. On average, they can last over 25 years, as they're meant to be a permanent dental solution.
However, if your dental health and/or hygiene isn't the best, it's possible for the implants to wear down quicker.
At your initial appointment, our dentist will do a thorough dental exam. They'll take your medical history and take X-rays, as well as 3D images and molds of your mouth. Make sure you tell them all your medical conditions and medications you're taking.
When it comes to the actual dental implant surgery, our dentist will give you some local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or sedation.
Once you're numb, they'll remove the tooth, do jawbone grafting if needed, and then place the dental implant in. You'll then be sent home to heal.
After healing, usually, you'll go back to get both the abutment and artificial tooth (crown) placed.
Overall, the entire process will take a few months to complete. Our dentist might combine several steps if they feel it's the best course of action.
A tooth implant can be a fantastic way to deal with any missing teeth you might have. This is especially true if you only have a few missing and don't need dentures just yet.
So have a discussion with one of our dentists. You never know; you just might be a good candidate for dental implants!
Are you interested in hearing more about dental implants? Then schedule an appointment at Baton Rouge Perio with either Dr. Kenneth Markle or Dr. Jenny Herman. Our team will help you get the beautiful smile you've always wanted and deserve.