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Are dental implants the best option to replace missing teeth?

Thanks to dental implant surgery, it is possible to replace missing teeth.

Tooth loss is a traumatic situation for many people. Contrary to popular belief, it is not only the elderly who can suffer from tooth loss.

Although aging is one of the risk factors, other problems could lead to losing one or more teeth. Problems like tooth decay, gum disease, or even trauma could cause your teeth to fall out.

Currently, there are different ways to replace missing teeth. Still, without a doubt, the most effective and permanent solution are dental implants.

Dental implant surgery

Dental implants are pieces of titanium that are surgically inserted into or over the jaw bone. These implants function as firm bases on which the artificial replacement teeth will be placed.

Dental implants allow replacing one to several missing teeth and are an alternative to dental prosthetics such as dentures or bridges.

What are the types of dental implants?

The procedure performed to place dental implants will depend on the type of implant. There are two types of implants:

Endosteal implants: This is the most commonly used type. These implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone. After the bone heals, the implant is fixed, and artificial teeth can be placed over them. These implants are used to replace individual teeth or to replace several teeth through bridges or fixed prostheses.

Sub-periosteal implants: These implants are inserted into a mount placed over the jawbone and under the gum tissue. After the gingiva heals, the frame and bases are fixed, and replacement teeth can be placed. These implants are indicated for patients who do not have a sufficiently healthy jaw bone and do not want to undergo treatment to rebuild the bone.

How is dental implant surgery performed?

Dental implant surgery is a two-phase procedure and can take several months to complete. To begin the surgery, a local anesthetic is applied. Next, the dental surgeon will make an incision in the gum to expose the bone, and then he will insert the titanium base into the bone. The surgeon sutures the gum’s wounds, and thus the first stage of the procedure is concluded.

Before starting the next phase, the patient should wait until the bone heals, and the implants are fully integrated into it. This process is called “osseointegration,” and it can take between three and six months.

After the bone has healed and the implants have been fixed, the dentist will place the crowns (replacement teeth) on the titanium bases. The procedure will be complete.

In sub-periosteal implant surgery, the procedure is similar; however, instead of inserting the implants into the jawbone, they are inserted over a mount placed between the gum and the bone. After the gum heals, the replacement teeth can be placed on the bases.

Advantage

Dental implants offer an effective solution to replace missing teeth; this positively impacts the patient’s self-esteem, as replacement teeth look and feel like natural teeth. These also help avoid other problems derived from missing teeth, such as malocclusion or bite problems.

Also, dental implants are held fixed directly on the bone, which is advantageous over other dental prostheses such as dentures or bridges, which can move and be uncomfortable when talking or eating.

Risks

As with any other surgical procedure, some problems could occur in dental implant surgery. The patient may suffer from swollen gums and face, slight bleeding, and pain after the procedure. However, the surgeon will prescribe anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infections and alleviate symptoms after surgery.

After each stage, the patient should eat soft foods, while the tissues and bones heal.

The most considerable risk may be that the implant does not integrate properly into the bone. This can occur in patients with weak or worn bones. To avoid this, the surgeon may recommend some graft treatment to restore the bone.

Tips for caring for dental implants

To keep dental implants in perfect condition and ensure that they last a lifetime, it is necessary to comply with some recommendations:

Maintaining a complete dental hygiene routine will help keep the gums and implant area clean, thus preventing the accumulation of bacteria that could cause gum and bone disease.

It is advisable to stop smoking since this habit can affect the bone structure’s by weakening the implants leading to the inability to fulfill their function. It is also essential to avoid biting or chewing very hard things that could damage artificial teeth.

An essential part of dental implant care is visiting the dentist at least twice a year. The dentist can help keep dental implants in perfect condition with dental cleanings and check-ups to ensure that the patient’s oral health is optimal. At FRESHDental, we offer the best options to replace missing teeth. If you want to find out if dental implant surgery is right for you, don’t wait any longer! Visit one of our dental practices near you where our highly trained dentists will provide the best care and help you determine the right option for you.