Dental implants are metal posts or frames that dentists position into the jawbone just under your gums through a surgical procedure. Once placed, dentists can then mouth either a new bridge or replacement tooth/teeth in that same area.
Unlike dentures, implants are firmly placed in your mouth, so they won't ever come loose. Or at least, not by accident. They also have the added benefit of not needing to be anchored to the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, which is a requirement for bridges.
How Dental Implants Work
Implants basically fuse to your jawbone, allowing them to provide the most stable possible kind of support for your replacement teeth. They won't slip or shift, making them less likely to cause speech problems. Also, as a result of their secure fit, dental implants feel far more natural compared to dentures and/or dental bridges.
The downside with dental implants, though, is that they're the most expensive method of tooth replacement. Even worse is that most insurance carriers rarely cover more than 10 percent of the fees, which is just unfortunate.
Proper Care and Maintenance
To receive dental implants, your overall oral health has to be checked and assessed by a dentist first. You'll need to have healthy enough gums, with sufficient bone structure left to support the implant itself. Also, having dental implants means that you'll have to commit to taking proper care of it, which includes meticulous oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.
Here are a couple more tips to help make sure that your dental implants last for a very long time.
Maintain a meticulous oral hygiene routine: If you didn't have any reason to strictly stick to brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once, you do now. Having implants makes it all the more important to take proper care of your teeth. You may also want to start using interdental brushes (brushes whose bristles are able to slide between teeth to help it clean areas that are typically hard to reach, especially around your implant).
Quit smoking: Smoking has been proven to weaken bone structure, which is not good news for your dental implant. The fact that smoking is also bad for your oral health as it is a risk factor for plenty of dental complications and that it generally is just bad for you should be enough of a reason for you to quit smoking as soon as possible.
Schedule regular appointments with your dentist: Recent news has made a new dental complication come to light, one that's a direct result of dental implants. While peri-implantitis has yet to be fully understood, experts agree that it's always preceded by peri-implant mucositis, which is a much more common condition that's also easy to treat. Early warning signs include red, swollen and even bleeding gums. And, by visiting the dentist regularly, your teeth and mouth are routinely checked for early warning signs of peri-implant mucositis so as to prevent it from progressing to the more serious peri-implantitis.
Stop chewing on hard food: This has to be one of the hardest adjustments to make, especially since most people tend to chew on hard food almost unconsciously. But, since ice and hard stuff can eventually break down the crown and your natural teeth, such a change is necessary and may also be beneficial, even for those who don't have dental implants.
Remember, the longevity and success of your dental implants depend on how well you take care of your teeth. Brushing your teeth, flossing and regularly visiting the dentist can go a long way in making sure that you encounter little to no dental problems going forward.
If you have suffered tooth loss, you might consider dental implants. To ensure the best possible results Dr. Jonathan Ford will perform a thorough oral exam, complete with X-rays to check the condition of your jawbone, and discuss all of your options. To schedule your consultation, contact the Ford Dental Group today.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Tooth loss is a devastating event with severe consequences. Along with the impact, tooth loss has on the appearance of your smile, it can make eating and speaking more challenging. Your jawbone gradually begins to change shape as well, which can then throw off your bite and cause other issues. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced. Ford Dental Group can help you to determine the best treatment course for your needs. Two common options for tooth replacement are dentures and implants.
Dentures have long been the treatment for replacing missing teeth, and have been used for centuries. The dentures we use today, however, are a major improvement over their ancestors, providing a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing result.
Dentures, which are made from impressions of your mouth, consisting of an acrylic base that is made to sit directly on your gums.The base holds acrylic resin replacement teeth.
Dentures, which are a removable prosthesis, can be made to replace an entire arch of missing teeth, called a full denture, or sections of missing teeth called a partial denture.
Partial dentures also have metal clasps, which anchor on to your natural teeth to provide additional support for your prosthetic teeth.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Treatment Dentures offer several benefits:
Modern developments have made them more natural in appearance as well as more comfortable.
They restore the basic functions of your teeth, enabling you to bite, chew, and speak normally.
Your smile is restored, which can give you back your confidence.
While modern dentures are a vast improvement over older restorations, they still have some major disadvantages:
They require additional care every night.
They rely on your gums for support, and this tissue was not designed to handle the pressures that are exerted on it by the prosthesis.
Dentures can come loose and rub your gum tissue, which can then result in painful denture sores.
Because your jawbone continues to weaken even though your teeth have been replaced, dentures need to be replaced every few years.
Modern Day Dental Implants
Dental implants are a modern alternative to traditional dentures. They use small titanium posts to support ceramic crowns and can be used to replace any number of missing teeth. Dental implants are placed in a surgical procedure, during which the posts are implanted into the jawbone. As you heal, your natural bone fuses to the posts, integrating them into the bone and turning them into stable roots that secure your new crowns in place. The exact number of implants you need for your new teeth depend upon how many teeth you have lost and the condition of your jawbone.
Pros and Cons of Modern Treatment Dental implants offer a vast array of benefits:
They look and function just like your natural teeth. They also feel completely natural as well.
Eating and speaking are restored.
You get your beautiful smile, and your confidence, back.
Implants are more comfortable than dentures. The posts support your teeth rather than your gums.
They can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth.
They are designed to be permanent.
The posts stimulate your jawbone just like the roots of your natural teeth, preserving the integrity of your jawbone.
Despite the numerous benefits, implants do have a few disadvantages:
They often cost more than dentures.
They require surgery for placement.
With surgery, there is a recovery period involved. The length of your recovery depends upon many factors.
If you do not have enough bone mass to support the posts, you may need to undergo a bone graft or sinus lift first.
Questions about Dental Implants vs. Dentures?
If you have lost teeth, it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible. For more information, and to find out which option is best for your specific needs, call Ford Dental Group to schedule your consultation today at (714) 409-6161.
When you lose teeth, replacing them is essential for restoring function and aesthetics to your mouth. At Ford Dental Group, we offer dental implants, a widely popular treatment that provides a modern alternative to treatments such as bridges and dentures. This treatment uses titanium posts, which are surgically implanted into your jaw, to support your replacement teeth. Implants offer a significant number of advantages over traditional treatments, including the more natural look and feel, greater comfort, and the fact that implants are permanent. Implants are also the only option that can stop and prevent bone loss in the jaw after you lose your teeth. To be successful, however, implants need to be integrated into the jaw in a process known as osseointegration.
What Does Osseointegration Have to do with Dental Implants?
Osseointegration is the process in which your natural bone fuses to the titanium posts as you heal from implant surgery. It was the accidental discovery of this natural phenomenon that led to the development of modern-day dental implants in the first place. In the 1950s, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon was studying bone healing and regeneration. He placed a titanium cylinder in the femur of a rabbit. Later, when he went to remove it, he realized that he could not because the bone had begun fusing to the cylinder. After further research and development, he placed the first set of successful implants in the 1960s. Research and development did not stop there. Even today, there are still new developments being implemented to improve the stability of implants and their ability to integrate into the jaw.
Why is Osseointegration Important for Dental Implants?
For your jaw to properly fuse to the titanium posts, you first need to have sufficient bone mass remaining in the jaw. Without enough bone mass, there is not enough to provide the necessary stability that implants need. The posts may be loose, or your bone may not fuse to the posts at all. Both of these issues can cause serious complications, including implant failure.
Just because you do not have enough bone mass remaining in your jaw at the time of your initial consultation, this does not mean that you are ineligible for implants. There are still options available. One of the first options is to restore missing bone mass, restoring strength to your jaw, with a bone graft. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that takes bone mass from elsewhere in your body, or from a donor, and places it in the weakened areas of your jaw. You may also be eligible for All-on-4® Treatment Concept. This treatment avoids the need for a bone graft by strategically placing implants to take advantage of the bone mass you do have left.
The Benefits of Successful Osseointegration
When successful osseointegration is complete, the titanium posts are essentially transformed into stable replacement roots that are then used to hold your ceramic crowns securely in place. The posts mimic the functions of your natural tooth roots and stimulate the jawbone when you chew. This restores the message to your body so that sufficient nutrients are sent. As a result, bone loss in the jaw is halted, and the strength and integrity of your jawbone is preserved.
When dental implants are fully, and successfully, integrated into your jawbone, you have a stable support network that works to hold your new teeth securely in place. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, and finding out if they are the right option for you, call Ford Dental Group today at (714) 409-6161.
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