Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants

According to the American College of Prosthodontists over 36 million Americans have no teeth, and 120 million are missing at least one tooth. Tooth loss can have a negative impact on your appearance and can affect your self-esteem. Most people who are missing teeth feel uncomfortable when smiling, laughing, and speaking. Some people are so worried about tooth loss that they skip social events to avoid feeling embarrassed.

The two most common treatments for tooth loss are partial dentures and dental implants. Of the two options, dental implants are more beneficial.

What Are Dental Implants?

The implant is made of titanium and is drilled directly into your jawbone, and acts as a root to hold a false tooth, replacing the tooth you lost.

Partial Dentures vs. Dental Implants

Although partial dentures can treat tooth loss well, there are several reasons why dental implants are the better option.

  • Natural appearance: Some partial dentures have wires that anchor the denture to a healthy tooth. People might see the wire when you speak and smile depending on where you’re missing teeth. The implant is drilled into the jawbone and provides a natural appearance without visible wires.
  • Dental implants are permanent: According to Fixodent, partial dentures can last five to ten years and need to be replaced. Dental implants are drilled into the jawbone and never need to be replaced. The crown placed on the implant can last over 15 years, and it costs less to replace a crown than partial dentures.
  • Dental implants don’t need to be removed nightly: You have to remove partial dentures every night before bed to let them soak overnight. If you don’t like the idea of removing the denture, dental implants are the better option. Implants stay in your mouth 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and you don’t have to worry about removing and soaking the denture.
  • There are no food restrictions with dental implants: If you have partial dentures, you can’t eat certain foods when the denture is in your mouth. Hard food, food you have to bite from, such as sandwiches and sticky foods, can be challenging to eat and damage the denture.

Dental implants are drilled into the jawbone and are as strong as your natural teeth, and there are no food restrictions.

  • Easy cleaning: Partial dentures require maintenance to remove bacteria and food particles. The denture needs to be brushed daily and soaked in a denture cleaner overnight to ensure it’s clean. With dental implants, you brush the crown the way you would your natural teeth, and flossing is essential to prevent the area around the implant from getting infected.

Although both options can treat loss, dental implants are as close to your natural teeth as you can get.

Dental implants

What To Expect?

You should first understand that the process can take months to complete. Your dentist will take an x-ray of your jawbone to ensure you have enough bone and it’s strong enough to hold the implant in. If there’s an issue with your jawbone, you’ll need a bone graft to rebuild the jawbone, so it’s strong enough to hold the implant, and it can take several months for the transplanted bone to create enough new bone to support the implant.

If your jawbone is fine, the dentist will proceed and drill the implant into your jawbone. You’ll need to wait months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. You can expect bruised gums, swelling of your gums and face, pain at the implant site, and minor bleeding during this time.

The artificial tooth can be placed when the implant has healed and fused, and your smile will improve significantly. If you’re missing one or more teeth and feel self-conscious, dental implants are the most natural option and are cared for the same way you care for your natural teeth.