If you're missing teeth, you have a number of options, including dental implants. Although many people are just hearing about dental implants for the first time, this dental solution has been around since 1965.
To help you decide if implants might be the right option for you, take a look at these frequently asked questions.
You can use dental implants to replace one or several missing teeth. In fact, you can even get implants that replace all the teeth in your upper or lower dental arch.
Typically, if you replace just one tooth, you get a dental implant featuring a crown attached to a single titanium root. When you need to replace multiple teeth, two or more titanium roots can anchor a bridge of prosthetic teeth to your jaw bone.
2. How Do Dental Implants Look?
Dental implants look just like your natural teeth. With a single dental implant, your dentist or oral surgeon crafts that implant to perfectly match your existing teeth. If you put in a full mouth of implants, you essentially can choose how your teeth look. For instance, if your teeth are naturally pointy, you can opt for a flatter, rounder look with your implants.
3. What If Your Jaw Bone Can't Support Dental Implants?
The titanium roots that hold dental implants in place go into your jaw bone, and over time, these roots actually ossify to your jaw bone. Unfortunately, however, osteoporosis, tooth loss, and other issues can all cause your jaw bone to deteriorate.
In these situations, your dentist may recommend a bone graft which involves adding bone to your jaw. If you get a full arch replacement, your dentist may be able to identify the areas where your jaw bone is the most dense and strong. Then, they can put the roots in these locations.
4. How Do Dental Implants Feel?
Dental implants feel just like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, they never slip or slide around in your mouth. You can chew and speak just like normal.
5. What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer a number of benefits including the following:
- Dental implants repair your smile in a way that looks and feels natural.
- The titanium root helps to prevent your jaw bone from further deterioration.
- Implants don't require you to shave down nearby teeth, as you may have to with some dental bridges.
- Dental implants are permanent — with proper dental hygiene, the implant should last your whole life, but you may need to replace the crown after several years of wear.
- Dental implants are permanently affixed in your mouth, so there is less chance of misplacing your dentures.
Talk with your dentist to learn more about the benefits for your personal situation.
6. How Do You Take Care of Dental Implants?
To take care of dental implants, you just need to brush and floss like you normally do. When you prevent debris and bacteria from building up on your teeth, you also stop the spread of those cavity-causing elements to other teeth and to your gums.
You should also continue to see your dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist can monitor your implants, keep tabs on the health of your gum tissue, and alert you to issues with any remaining teeth.
7. Are Dental Implants Right for You?
Dental implants can be the perfect solution for a lot of different issues. Whether you're missing just one tooth or looking for full mouth dental prosthetics, dental implants can help. To find out if they are the right option for your situation, contact us today.
We can start with a consultation and help you decide the right steps forward. At Couchman Center for Complete Dentistry, we handle everything in house. You can work with our dentist for routine dental care, as well as for specialty treatments such as dental implants.