Dental implants are restorations that dentists use to replace missing teeth. Patients interested in this treatment must determine if they are an ideal candidate for this procedure. Systemic health conditions such as low bone density can create challenges for dental surgery. The patient should disclose all health history concerns to the dental team. Together, the…
5 Facts About the Dental Implants Process
Dental implants are a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring oral function. Patients who take the time to understand the implant process enjoy successful outcomes.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that a dentist anchors to the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. After the implant successfully integrates with the jawbone, the dentist fits it with an abutment that extends through the gum. The abutment provides a surface onto which the dentist mounts a prosthetic tooth.
What should dental patients know about the implant process?
A dentist can offer guidance about a patient's candidacy for implants. These five facts can determine if implants are advisable.
1. Gum health is a prerequisite
Minor gum disease can quickly progress to more severe periodontal disease that can compromise the jawbone. Placing a titanium post into a weak bone will ensure an implant's failure.
Pathology in a tooth adjacent to an implant site can also cause the procedure to fail. For example, a nearby gum infection that spreads to the bone supporting a titanium post can destabilize the prosthetic tooth. Therefore, dentists must consider the health of surrounding teeth to avoid future implant complications.
2. Periodontal disease does not rule out implants
Patients with periodontal disease should not automatically rule out getting implants. Although jawbone infections preclude implant procedures, it is possible to restore gum and jawbone health to where a dentist can proceed with treatment.
For example, dentists commonly replenish missing jawbone with natural or synthetic material to ensure sufficient support for an implant. Unfortunately, this step prolongs the implant process as the material the dentist introduces takes months to fuse with the existing jawbone. Still, a bone graft makes it possible for patients with jawbone loss to enjoy the benefits of dental implants.
3. Oral hygiene habits matter
Although prosthetic teeth are not susceptible to cavities, implants can fail when bacteria compromise the bone that supports them. Therefore, a critical part of the implant process involves a patient's commitment to rigorous oral hygiene to prevent bacteria from spreading past the gumline. Oral hygiene habits that include adequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing are essential for implants and natural teeth.
4. Implants take time
Implant treatment offers a long-lasting solution for restoring missing teeth and dental health, but the complete process may take a year. Healing for each stage requires several months; therefore, implants are not ideal for patients seeking a fast solution for missing teeth.
5. Recovery time varies
Most people tolerate dental implant procedures well, though a full recovery following each stage requires patience and depends upon various factors, including:
- The number of implants a patient receives
- How well a patient follows post-procedure instructions
- A patient’s willingness to avoid smoking and other detrimental habits
Failure to follow a dentist's post-surgical instructions may unnecessarily delay or curtail the procedure's benefits.
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Dental implants can prevent bite misalignments, painful discomfort, chewing difficulties, and infections that affect oral and general health. Dental patients can consult with a knowledgeable dentist to discuss pertinent facts about this standard procedure.
There are multiple options for patients who want to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are a popular choice because of their benefits; however, some patients may prefer another option.There are several tooth replacement options available to most patients. Implant surgery involves placing titanium posts in the jaw of the patient to replace missing teeth roots.…
If you are missing teeth and are considering dental implants, there are a number of things you should know. Implants are a popular choice for replacement, but the process takes time to complete. You should make sure you are a good candidate and get all your questions answered before choosing the procedure.There are numerous options…