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Dental Implant Surgery: A Guide to Teeth Replacement

Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about dental implant surgery - from what dental implants are, to the implant procedure steps, and finding the right dental implant dentist for you.


What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots surgically placed into the jawbone to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. They provide a strong, stable foundation for fixed (non-removable) replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Dental implants may be an option for people missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease, or another reason.



Compared to other tooth replacement options like dentures or bridges, dental implants offer several benefits. Implants dental preserve your facial structure and prevent bone loss in the jaw. They also don't require reducing other teeth as bridges do. Best of all, dental implant teeth allow you to eat, speak, and confidently smile.

Dental Implant Procedure Overview

The dental implant process involves multiple steps over several months. It starts with a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. If so, there are three main phases:

1. Implant Placement Surgery

During this minor surgery, the dental implant dentist will place the titanium post (dental implant) into the jawbone, where it will fuse with the bone over 3-6 months. This process is called osseointegration and provides the firm foundation for your new artificial tooth. Local anesthesia is used to minimize any discomfort.

2. Abutment Placement

Once the implant is fused to the bone, a small connector post called an abutment will be attached to the implant post. This connects the implant to the new crown.



3. Crown Placement

In this final step, the dentist will take an impression of your abutment and create a customized crown that matches your natural teeth. The crown is then attached on top of the abutment, completing your dental implant tooth and restoring your smile.


The entire dental implant procedure may take 5-9 months to allow proper healing between procedures. Proper oral hygiene and care of your implant crown are vital for the long-term success of your dental implants.

Who Needs Dental Implants?

Many people need dental implants, including:

  • Those missing one or more teeth due to injury, decay, or gum disease

  • People with bridges or dentures that are uncomfortable or no longer fit properly

  • Those looking to improve their smile and self-confidence

  • Healthy individuals with good oral hygiene practices

  • People with adequate jawbone density and volume for implant placement


Ideal candidates have healthy gums and sufficient bone mass in the jaw for the implants dental to adhere to. Your dentist will determine if you meet the criteria through dental exams, x-rays, and a consultation.


Certain conditions like bruxism, diabetes, and smoking can impact the success rate of implants, so it's important to discuss your full medical history.

Benefits of Dental Implants

There are many advantages to choosing dental implants for tooth replacement:

  • Improved Appearance: Implant teeth look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The crowns are custom-made to blend seamlessly with your surrounding teeth.

  • Preserve Facial Structure: Implants prevent bone loss in the jaw which occurs with missing teeth. This maintains the natural shape of your face.

  • Protect Healthy Teeth: Unlike bridges, implants don't require reducing adjacent teeth for placement. Your natural healthy teeth remain untouched.

  • Long-lasting: With proper care, implants can last a lifetime and are the closest thing to your natural teeth. The success rate is over 95% based on recent studies.

  • Improve Self-Esteem: Those with missing front teeth report restored confidence and greater comfort in social situations after getting dental implants.

  • Eat Anything: The stability provided by implants allows people to eat all their favorite foods without difficulty.


For these reasons, dental implants are an excellent investment for long-term dental health, function, and aesthetics.

Understanding the Risks of Teeth Implants

While dental implant surgery is highly predictable with modern techniques, there are some risks to consider:

  • Implant Failure: In rare cases, the implant may fail to fuse to the bone and will need to be removed. This occurs in about 5% of implants.

  • Nerve Damage: The inferior alveolar nerve which gives sensation to the lower lip and chin may rarely be bruised or damaged during lower jaw implant placement. This can cause temporary or permanent numbness.

  • Infection: Poor oral hygiene habits increase the risk of bacterial infection which can jeopardize the implant. Strict hygiene and dental checkups are critical.

  • Sinus Problems: In the upper jaw, the implant tip may extend into the sinus cavity and potentially contribute to sinus issues. This is avoidable with proper planning.

Your dentist will thoroughly review your health history and use advanced 3D imaging for careful implant placement to minimize any risks. Proper implant aftercare greatly improves the long-term prognosis as well.

Finding the Right Dental Implant Dentist

Choosing an experienced implant dentist is the most important factor for achieving successful dental implant treatment. Be sure to select an implant specialist that:

  • Has advanced training in implant dentistry beyond general dentistry. Look for credentials like "Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology (ABOI)" to signify this.

  • Has many years of experience placing and restoring dental implants. The more implants a dentist has performed, the better the likely outcomes.

  • Uses 3D imaging technology like cone beam CT scans for precise planning and implant placement.

  • Provides options for advanced implant materials like zirconia or titanium.

  • It has an in-house dental lab for custom, high-quality crowns matched to your teeth.

  • Earns excellent patient reviews for their implant work and chairside manner.


Take time to consult with multiple implant dentists before deciding. Be sure you are comfortable with the dentist and confident in their skills and experience with dental implant surgery. Doing your homework will help ensure you receive the optimal treatment.

Transform Your Smile with Dental Implants

Dental implants can provide a permanent, natural-looking solution for those suffering from missing teeth to restore your smile and dental function. With advances in implant technology and techniques, success rates are better than ever. If you're considering implants, find an implant specialist to schedule a consultation and determine if you're a good candidate. With the right dentist, dental implants can give you back your confident smile for many years.

Quality Dental Implants at Forest Heights Family Dental

Forest Heights Family Dental provides high-quality dental implant treatment options to patients throughout the local area. Forest Heights Family Dental crafts custom-matched implant crowns for the most natural-looking and functioning dental implants. If you are looking for an expert dental implant dentist, contact Forest Heights Family Dental today to schedule a consultation.


FAQs


1.How painful is dental implant surgery?

Dental implant placement is usually performed under local anesthesia and most patients report only mild discomfort during the procedure. Over-the-counter pain medication is often enough to manage any post-op pain.


2. How long do dental implants last?

With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last several decades, even a lifetime. The success rate is over 95% based on recent studies.


3. Do dental implants require special care?

Yes, excellent oral hygiene and dental checkups every 6 months are important to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. Special brushes and implant-safe toothpaste may be recommended.


4. How long is the recovery time after implant surgery?

The recovery time is typically only a few days. However, complete healing of the implant into the bone takes 3-6 months before the artificial tooth is placed. During this osseointegration period, temporaries can be worn.


5. Can dental implants get infected?

Yes, bacteria can still accumulate around dental implants, so meticulous oral hygiene is required to prevent infection which could lead to implant failure. Your dentist will guide you on properly caring for your implants.


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