Improvements in dental care have been experienced over the years but today there are many people who are still suffering from tooth loss which is mostly brought about by tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease or injury). For a long period of time, bridges and dentures were the only available treatment options for people who had missing teeth. Today, technology has made dental implants to be available to people around the world.
What are dental implants?
This is an artificial tooth that is usually placed into one’s jaw with the purpose of holding a replacement tooth or bridge in place. They are like tooth roots only that they are surgically placed and not visible thereafter. They are made of titanium therefore making them light, strong and biocompatible which ultimately means that the body cannot reject it.
This is because titanium has a special property that ensures it fuses with the bone leading to the process being called osseointegration. They are provided to people who have a lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury or accident and any other reason.
Types of dental implants
There are two types of dental implants namely
This is the most common type of implant used and includes screws, cylinders or blades being surgically placed into the jawbone. Every implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of dental implant is used as an alternative for patients who have bridges or removable dentures.
These type of dental implants is placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework posts protruding through the gum to hold the prosthesis. It is used on patients who are unable to wear conventional dentures and who have minimal bone height.
How to know if I am the right candidate?
The first thing you need to know is that to be considered the right candidate, you need to have a good general and oral health. The dental surgeon will have to perform an exam in order to determine the situation and come up with the right treatment. The jaw bone density is considered and it should be able to support the implant. The best candidates are those who have gums tissues that are healthy and free from periodontal disease.
What you need to know is that dental implants are usually connected with the gum tissues and the underlying bone in the mouth. Apart from having a good general and oral health, you need to have a missing tooth or teeth.
Who needs it?
They are for all ages and the implants are the right choice for anyone missing one or multiple or even all their teeth as a result of an injury, defect, disease or decay. Dental implants can also be a good option for adolescents after puberty when their jaw stops growing. For boys, it occurs when they are around 16 while for girls it occurs when they around 18 years.
How to keep your dental health after the treatment
In order to ensure good health and proper function of the implants, you need to practice good oral hygiene. While they are not subject to cavities like our natural teeth, they do develop gum inflammation. Apart from that it could lead to infections and bone loss when not properly maintained. Flossing and routine brushing of your teeth, tongue and the gums is the first step to ensuring better oral hygiene. Your dentist will also be able to show you other tools that will help you keep your teeth and implants clean and healthy.
Regular dental checkups
Having regular dental checkups will allow the specialist to inspect the surrounding gums and bone. This is done to ensure they are well maintained and healthy. Periodic x-rays may be carried out in order to evaluate the level of bone around the implants. Apart from that, dental restoration will have to be carried out in order to ensure that they are secure and functioning properly.
Benefits of dental implants
The implants are designed to look and feel like your natural teeth. For one who has a missing tooth, you know how embarrassing it is especially when in public and you are required to smile or speak with people. With the implants, you will get to improve your appearance as they fuse with the bone therefore becoming permanent.
Poor fitting dentures can result in slipping in the mouth resulting in you mumbling or slurring on words. With implants, you will get to speak well and not worry about your teeth slipping.
Since they are fused with your gums and jaw bone, they are permanent therefore eliminating the discomfort one experiences when using dentures.
Improves one’s self esteem
The implants not only improve your appearance but they help to restore your self esteem allowing you to naturally smile again therefore feeling better always.
Dental implants have helped to solve many dental problems which were not completely solved by bridges and dentures. With implants, you can finally experience improved appearance, improved self esteem, improved eating and comfort.