Choosing dental implants is a big decision, it’s a financial investment, changes the way your smile looks, and may affect how you care for your teeth. Tru Family Dental’s community of doctors have years of experience, and when it comes to answering patients’ questions about dental implants, we are here to help answer your questions and concerns. Madhu Mahadevan DDS, has addresses some of the common questions patients most often have when considering a dental implant procedure at his dental office in Warren.
Question & Answers
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants are made up of three parts: the crown, the connector, and the base. The crown is the visible part of the implant, is usually ceramic, and is designed to look like a natural tooth. As the name suggests, the connector connects the crown to the implant’s base, which is a titanium screw that fuses with the natural bone.
Since dental implants mimic real teeth by fusing with your jawbone, they help protect your jawbone from the deterioration that can occur as a result of missing teeth. Dental implants also protect your remaining teeth from gum disease and can even make you look younger. As the strongest device available to support replacement teeth, dental implants are long lasting and allow your new teeth to look, feel, and function normally.
What’s the Dental Implant Procedure Like?
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient oral procedure that’s completed in stages over the course of a few weeks to a few months. The full procedure is carried out in a series of visits, and between each there is a healing time and evaluation before continuing to the next phase. Typically, there are three phases, starting with the initial placement of the implant into the jawbone, then the placement of the collar and temporary crown and finally the placement of permanent crown. If you’re replacing a damaged tooth or need a bone graft to promote jawbone growth, your dentist will need to perform these steps before starting the actual implant procedure.
During the implant placement phase of the process, your oral surgeon will place the implant into the jawbone. This will be used to hold the final crown. They’ll drill a small hole into the jawbone and carefully screw in the base. This will be allowed to heal and fuse with your bone. During the second procedure, an abutment and temporary crown are placed onto the implant. Then finally, in the last step, your dentist will create and implant the artificial, tooth-like crown which serves as the new tooth. This series of steps is designed to allow your jawbone and gumline time to grow into the implant and ensure the jawbone is as strong as normal with the new tooth replacement.
What Are the Major Types of Dental Implants Available?
There are two main types of dental implants you can choose from: a removable prosthesis or a fixed implant prosthesis.
- The removable prosthesis is similar to a conventional denture. It contains artificial white teeth surrounded by a pink, plastic “gum.” It can be removed for repair or daily cleaning and snaps into place using a metal frame that’s attached to the implant connector. Since the removable prosthesis is attached to your artificial tooth root, they provide more support than traditional dentures.
- A fixed prosthesis is permanently attached to the implant connector and can’t be removed for cleaning. These implants are exceptionally strong, so several teeth can be replaced by one implant if they’re bridged together. Since the prosthesis is attached to your artificial tooth root, they won’t fall out or come loose when eating.
Depending on the integrity of your jawbone, the number of teeth you want to replace, and your lifestyle, your dentist will help you choose between removable, fixed, or a combination of both.
Do Dental Implants Look Natural?
No matter which type of dental implant you choose, the prosthetic crown is manufactured to match the color of your unique tooth enamel. Your oral surgeon will shave and shape the crown so it fits perfectly into your smile and is realistically sized.
When choosing the shade for your crown, keep in mind that artificial teeth cannot be bleached. If you want your smile to be brighter, you’ll need to whiten the rest of your teeth beforehand.
How Strong Are Dental Implants Compared to Real Teeth?
Dental implants are made using a titanium screw, making them the most durable tooth replacement option available. With proper care, they can last upwards of 25 years or even a lifetime. Dental implants are attached to the jawbone itself, while real teeth are attached to the gums. This means while real teeth can shift, your dental implant should stay in place depending on the strength of your jawbone.
Make sure to ask you dentist how to care for your implants, as maintenance techniques differ depending on the type of implant you receive and how many teeth you replace. However, you should continue to practice daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental check-ups.
Are All Dental Implant Treatments Successful?
The success rate of dental implants vary depending on where they’re placed, but in general, the procedure has a success rate well over 95%. To improve your chances of a successful implant procedure, discuss any allergies, existing medical conditions, and current medications with your dentist. Carefully follow your surgeon’s post-surgery instructions, which may include eating soft foods, cleaning the surgical site, and applying ice. To avoid complications, avoid using tobacco products, continue practicing good oral hygiene, and avoid chewing on ice or hard candies.