What used to be normal activities such as laughing, smiling, eating, chewing, and talking in public are now be an embarrassing experience. You might find yourself choosing carefully off a menu in a local restaurant or avoiding photographs just because of a few missing teeth. However, things don’t have to be this way – all-on-four dental implants or multiple dental implants could help restore your beautiful smile and confidence.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used to support false teeth. Most dentists opt for a titanium screw to replace a failing tooth root. Just like your natural teeth roots, dental implants are placed directly onto the patient’s jawbone.
If you have lost one or more teeth and you still have other natural teeth, your dentist can replace the missing ones with dental implants. However, this depends on the condition of your jawbone. Before the onset of the dental implant procedure, your dentist will perform a few tests to determine if the amount of jawbone available can support an implant. If your jawbone isn’t enough, the dentist will recommend bone grafting before placing the implants.
Do they hurt?
Generally, placing a dental implant is way easier than pulling a tooth out. The entire procedure is performed using a local anesthetic. While you may not feel pain during the procedure, you’re likely to feel discomfort during the first week after the surgery, just like after tooth extraction. If you are too nervous or your dental surgery is a little bit complex, your dentist might administer a sedative.
How long does the procedure take?
Generally, a dental implant procedure is done into phases. First, your dentist will place the titanium screw (implant) onto your jawbone and let it heal for about three to four months. The second phase involves the fitting of the false tooth. However, some false teeth can be fitted immediately after the implant has been placed. This process is known as an immediate implant.
Consult with your dentist to establish the most viable implant placement schedule. Sometimes, the procedure takes longer, especially if bone grafting is necessary.
Are dental implants safe, and will they last for many years?
Research reveals dental implants are safe. They are much like your natural teeth, and you may not need to replace them if you take good care of them. It is recommended to visit your dentist regularly during and after the dental implant procedure to make sure you’re healing properly. This is likely to have a significant impact on the durability of your implants. Improper oral hygiene will lead to the development of a coating similar to neglected natural teeth. If not treated on time, this will result in gum infection, general discomfort, and sometimes soreness and gum bleeding. Exercising excellent oral care means your implants will last for several decades. However, as with all other surgical implants, including hip replacements, there’s no lifetime guarantee regarding dental implants.