What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants replace teeth, providing a healthy foundation for permanent or removable restorations. The tooth roots are replaced with metal, screwlike posts much like hip or knee implants. Like a crown, the missing tooth is replaced with a prosthetic tooth created specifically for you by Dr. Bryan Foote.
Once the implants are surgically placed in your jawbone, the bone will grow around the implant to fuse together. Unlike dentures, implants keep your teeth stable. They can be used in both the upper and lower jaws, and will never decay like regular teeth. Our practice, Bryan G. Foote, D.D.S. Dentistry is proud to offer dental implant services to the Columbia, MO area.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Getting dental implants is a longer process than having dentures made. To begin, the dentist surgically places the implant in your jaw. For the implant and jaw to fuse together, it’s essential to wait anywhere from 3 to 6 months before completing the process.
In the second step, a post is added to the implant. Before the final step of attaching the dental crown, the gum tissue around the post needs time to heal. Once healed, the dentist will create a crown that matches the size, shape, and color of the original tooth. The final step is to attach it to the implant.
CAN ANYONE GET DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Patients of all ages have chosen implants to replace one tooth or more. Generally, if you’re healthy enough to go through oral surgery, you are a good candidate for implants. By consistently taking care of your dental hygiene, your jaw and remaining teeth should also be strong enough.
Some of the issues that might prevent you from getting implants are:
- A small jawbone structure that won’t allow room for the implant
- Heavy smoking
- You’re not willing to give the time it takes to put implants in place
- You have a health condition that doesn’t allow your bones to heal properly
- Your teeth and gums are in poor condition due to improper oral hygiene
- You have an uncontrolled chronic health disorder such as diabetes or heart disease
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
There are several benefits to choosing dental implants. Although the process takes longer than dentures, there are many more advantages in the long run.
1. Chewing is easier
Missing teeth make eating difficult. If you have dentures, food can often get trapped between your dentures and your gums. Implants work like regular teeth set deep inside the jawbone. There isn’t a space underneath and regular chewing is easily restored.
2. Your appearance, as well as your self-esteem, will be improved
When you’re missing teeth, the shape of your face changes and becomes sunken. Because implants fuse with your jawbone, your face once again fills out. Your overall appearance will improve, as well as your self-esteem, as your smile returns.
3. They improve your speech
Removable dentures have some movement, which can adversely affect chewing and speech if not fitted properly. With implants, this is never an issue because they form a stable base.
4. Made with more durable materials
Dental implants last many years – with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Typically, full dentures last between 5 and 10 years, while partial dentures last about 15 years. Of course, with proper oral health, they could even last longer.
5. Your overall oral health will be improved
Dental implants allow for more of your own teeth to stay intact, improving your long-term oral health. When flossing, implants make it easier to access the space between teeth, allowing for better oral care. Plus, implants never get cavities!
WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Success rates of this procedure depend on where the implants are placed in the jaw, but in general, they have a success rate of up to 98%. If cared for properly, implants will serve as a permanent solution for missing teeth.
WHAT IS MY NEXT STEP?
Set up an appointment to discuss your overall oral health, the implant procedure, and financial options with Dr. Foote today.