Despite routine check-ups, a healthy dental hygiene routine, and the latest dentistry advances, many people suffer from tooth loss during their life. Whether it’s from trauma, tooth decay, or periodontal disease, more and more patients opt for dental implants to replace their teeth, restore function, and improve their appearance.
What is dental implant surgery?
Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal or ceramic posts and to replace teeth with artificial teeth that look and function like your natural teeth. Dental implant surgery offers a welcome alternative to bridgework or dentures that often do not fit well and look unnatural.
Patients consider having dental implants for numerous reasons, including:
- Having one or more missing teeth
- Wanting to improve speech
- Inability or unwillingness to wear dentures
What is involved in getting a dental implant?
Dental implants are the closest alternative you can get to healthy, natural teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, similar to the shape of a screw, that’s attached to your jaw, under the gum line. When placed in your jawbone, dental implants fuse with your natural bone over time. This artificial tooth root becomes a sturdy base for an artificial tooth, called a crown. This crown is custom-made to match your natural tooth and fits in your mouth perfectly.
Performed by an oral surgeon, dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry. Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years!
How long does a dental implant procedure take?
Getting a dental implant or implants is a multi-step process that can take several months (depending on your specific needs). Once you and your oral surgeon have determined you are an ideal candidate for dental implants, you’ll schedule a surgical appointment for your procedure. This appointment may also involve removing any damaged teeth (when applicable).
Once the implant is in place, your jaw and surrounding tissues will need to heal. Healing can take between 6 to 12 weeks. During this time, your dentists will mold your replacement crown. Once you have recovered from the initial artificial root implant, your dentist will attach your new tooth.
Each stage of dental implant surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. An example of a typical dental implant process includes the following steps:
- Removal of the damaged tooth
- Assessment of the bone density/thickness
- Jawbone preparations (or bone grafting when necessary)
- Placement of the dental implant
- Healing and bone growth around the implant
- Placement of the abutment when needed (abutments are connecting pieces that attach the crown to the implants)
- Installation of the false tooth (crown)
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Aside from providing a sturdy and long-lasting alternative to dentures or bridges, dental implants can last up to 30 years or longer once implanted. Other advantages to dental implants include:
- Improved appearance: Dental implants are fused to your bone and look and feel natural.
- Comfortable: Dental implants are permanently fixed in your mouth, eliminating the irritation and discomfort that comes with removing/inserting dentures.
- Improved ability to eat: Dentures can sometimes slip, which makes it hard to chew. However, dental implants work just like natural teeth, allowing you to eat without discomfort or pain.
- Durability: Dentures and bridgework have a 15-20% failure rate within ten years. However, dental implants only have a 2% failure rate over the same length of time. Implants can last up to 30 years, and with proper care, they can last your entire life.
- Convenience: Dental implants will eliminate the inconvenience and embarrassment associated with removing dentures.
What should I know before dental implants?
Before considering dental implant surgery, it’s important to confirm you are an ideal candidate for the implant. To qualify for dental implants, candidates need to have a full-grown jawbone and adequate bone structure for the implant to fuse to (dental implants are not indicated for individuals younger than 18 years old). Dental implants are one of the safest and most predictable oral surgeries. However, like all surgeries, there are potential risks. Problems associated with dental implants are rare, and when they occur are typically minor and easily treated. Risks associated with dental implants include possible infection at the implant site, damage to the surrounding structures (such as blood vessels and teeth), and potential nerve damage.
Can I get a full mouth of dental implants?
Yes, you can receive a full mouth of dental implants. Like with one or two implants, candidates need to have a full-grown jawbone and adequate bone structure for the implant to fuse to. The extent of your treatment process will depend on your individual condition and preferences. Full mouth dental implants typically include the placement of six to eight dental implants in the upper jaw, and four to six implants in the lower jaw.
Dr. Tosun Dental Implants
At Dr. Tosun Dental Clinic, we strive to help our patients maintain their dental health by creating a safe and comfortable environment for their dental cleanings and procedures. Our experienced team of dental professionals leverages our experience with the latest dental practices to help create beautiful smiles. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, we’d love to help.