Dental implants can restore your smile and give you back the confidence you deserve. By replacing missing teeth with dental implants, you can regain the ability to eat and speak normally, enjoy an improved appearance and have better oral health overall. If you’re considering dental implants, you may have questions about how they work and what’s involved. Keep reading to learn more about this innovative dental technology and why it may be the right choice for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent and natural-looking solution for replacing missing teeth. They are titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gum tissue, providing a stable anchor for artificial teeth that look and feel just like real ones. An implant is composed of several components: an implant post (the part that connects to the jawbone), an abutment (the piece that attaches to the implant post and supports the artificial tooth or teeth), and a dental crown (the artificial tooth itself).
There are two main types of implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the most common type and involve placing a metal post into the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, include placing a metal frame onto the jawbone just below your gums. The type of implant you receive will depend on your needs.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants work by providing a strong, stable foundation for artificial teeth. The implant post is made of titanium, a biocompatible material accepted by the body, and integrates with your existing jawbone for a secure foundation. The abutment then attaches to the implant post and acts as a connector between the artificial tooth and the implant post. Finally, the artificial tooth is attached to the abutment, which gives it a natural-looking appearance and secure fit. With proper care, implants can last many years and provide a beautiful and complete smile that looks just like your real teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
#1. Prevent Bone Loss
When teeth are missing, the jawbone can start to deteriorate. Dental implants help to prevent this bone loss by providing a stable root for artificial teeth. This helps preserve the shape of your face and prevents other teeth from shifting out of place.
#2. Improved Appearance
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, so you won’t have to worry about a noticeable gap in your smile. With proper care, they can last a lifetime and give you back the confidence of having a beautiful and complete smile.
#3. Improved Oral Health
Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants don’t require any special maintenance or cleaning methods beyond brushing and flossing. This makes it easy to keep your mouth clean and healthy without worrying about taking special measures or using adhesives.
#4. Improved Eating and Speaking Ability
Traditional removable dentures can make eating certain foods difficult, as they tend to slip out of place. With dental implants, you’ll be able to eat anything you want without worrying about your teeth slipping out of place, and you’ll be able to speak confidently, knowing that your teeth won’t move or make noise.
Process for Placing Dental Implants
Step 1. Initial Evaluation
Before beginning the process of your dental implant surgery, your dentist will need to evaluate your oral health and assess whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. During the evaluation, they will examine your jawbone to determine if it is strong and healthy enough to support the implants. They will also take X-rays to determine if any underlying issues need to be addressed, such as gum disease or tooth decay.
Step 2. Tooth Extraction
Your dentist may also extract any remaining teeth in the area that need to be replaced. This may include any decayed, cracked, or damaged teeth. The extraction process will involve numbing the affected area and then removing the tooth using special tools.
Step 3. Bone Grafting (If Necessary)
In cases where the jawbone is not strong enough to support dental implants, a bone graft may be necessary to provide an adequate foundation for the implant posts. During a bone graft, donor bone tissue or synthetic material will be placed into the area to provide additional structure and stability for the implants. Once the graft has been completed, the jawbone must heal before any further steps can be taken.
Step 4. Implant Placement
Once the jawbone has healed, the next step in the dental implant process is for your dentist to place the implants. During this stage, small holes will be drilled into the jawbone, and special titanium posts will be inserted into these holes. The posts will serve as anchors for the replacement teeth, providing a secure foundation for them to be attached to.
Step 5. Abutment Placement
Once the implant posts have been placed securely in the jawbone, abutment pieces will be attached to them. These abutments are small metal pieces that act as anchor points for the artificial teeth. They will securely attach to the top of each implant post and provide a connection point for the false teeth to be attached. After this step, the artificial teeth can be placed on top of the abutment pieces.
Step 6. Placement of Artificial Teeth
The final step in the dental implant procedure is to attach the replacement teeth. This is done by attaching custom-made false teeth to each abutment piece, providing a natural-looking and fully functional smile. Depending on the type of dental implant being used, the permanent replacement teeth may be made from porcelain, ceramic, or even metal materials.
Post-Surgery Care for Dental Implants
Once the oral surgery is complete, it is essential to take proper care of your implants to ensure long-term success. Proper post-surgery care involves regular brushing and flossing and making sure to visit your dentist for routine checkups and dental cleanings.
You should also take your medications as prescribed by your dentist, get plenty of rest, and eat a soft diet for a few weeks until the implants have had time to fuse with the jawbone.
Schedule an Implant Consultation Today!
Dental implants are a safe, effective, long-lasting solution for restoring your smile. If you’re considering this popular tooth replacement option, contact our oral surgeon in Raleigh today to schedule an initial consultation. During this appointment, our experienced dentist will assess your oral health and answer any questions you may have about the surgical procedure.