Americans care a lot about how their smile looks. Nearly all of us or 99.7% think that it has an impact on our social lives. The vast majority of us feel a good looking, healthy smile will make us more attractive to a potential romantic partner, at least 96% of us feel that way. Nearly 75% of people who were surveyed said that an unattractive smile could hurt their careers. One problem we have with this is missing teeth. At least 15 million people in the United States have crowns or bridges to replace missing teeth. Many people are now turning to dental implants to replace the teeth they lose. This simple oral surgery can be the best way to replace those teeth.
- Dental implants provide the closest thing to replacement teeth on the market today. If you are considering this kind of oral surgery to replace any missing teeth, there are some things you should know.
- Dental implants are incredibly sturdy and have a high success rate. Some put the success rate of dental implants at over 98%.
- Dental implants do not disturb any other teeth. The only part of the mouth that is impacted by an implant is the area where it is inserted. With bridges and other replacement methods, the surrounding teeth have to be used as an anchor.
- Dental implants look like natural teeth. These are the closest thing you can get to replacement teeth.
The Dental Implant Process:
- The broken tooth is removed. The first step in the dental implant process is to remove the old tooth. Oral surgery to remove any of the old tooth that is remaining in the mouth is essential. If your broken tooth still is in your mouth, the oral surgeon will remove it. This area will have to be given some time to heal before anything new can be done to it.
- Do you have enough bone in your jaw? The next step will be to take x-rays of the area to determine if your jaw has enough bone to support a dental implant. If you lose a tooth, you should look into having the dental implant oral surgery sooner than later because when you lose a tooth, you start to lose bone in the jaw. You need to have enough bone there to support a dental implant. Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon if you are concerned about this. Some people may be eligible to have a bone graft done if there is not already enough bone to support the implant.
- Insert the implant. In the next phase, an oral surgery is performed to insert the implant. The implant itself if often made of titanium. This post is installed in the jaw bone of the patient. The implant is meant to replace and be very similar to the root of a natural tooth. There are two different ways the oral surgeon can go from here. They can attach an abutment which sticks out of the gum and is what the crown or replacement tooth will be attached to or they can save that for the next step. They may attach a healing cap to the implant that will be later replaced with the abutment. If you are having a front tooth replaced, they usually give you a temporary cosmetic piece to make the area look better during the healing process. This will prevent you from walking around with a big gap in the front of your mouth.
- Attach the abutment and crown. After the area has been allowed to heal for a few weeks, this will depend on the person and their general health, the abutment will be attached, if that was not done already and then the crown will be put on that. This is the last stage and is not oral surgery (once the implant has been inserted, all of the oral surgery is done).
If you are missing any teeth, dental implants can be a great alternative to bridges and dentures and offer a great way to restore your smile. You can care for them the same way you take care of your natural teeth. They can also contribute to your excellent oral health by keeping your jaw bone healthy.