As technology advances in dentistry, more and better options become available for a variety of treatments including missing teeth. Modern dental implants are the strongest devices available to replace missing teeth. There’s a reason why 500,000 people annually seek out this treatment. If you’ve been considering a smile restoration, here’s what you need to know about dental implants to decide if they’re right for you. 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are the closest thing to natural teeth that allow you to live the way you want without worrying about missing teeth. A dental implant is a surgical grade titanium post that acts as an artificial root, permanently secured in your jaw and fused with your natural bone. It is a sturdy base for a natural-looking artificial tooth called a crown. Dental implants are used to restore one or more missing teeth and can even be used for full-mouth restorations. Ancient dental implants have been traced back to 600 AD. Modern dental implants help more than 3 million people in the U.S alone feel confident in their smile and enjoy life pain-free. 

Who gets dental implants?

This is a treatment that is available to most people with adult teeth (if a child loses a tooth consult a pediatric dentist for options to maintain the structure of the jaw and proper spacing). Studies show that younger patients tend to only need a single implant, while patients older than 40 tend to need multi-tooth implants. Over time teeth undergo a significant amount of wear and tear which contributes to an increased need for restoration.

How to determine if you’re a candidate?

If you’re missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or decay you could benefit from dental implants. Some other indicators are:

You have a severely cracked, broken or infected tooth. Our goal is always to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. But in some cases, other restorative methods aren’t sufficient to repair severely damaged teeth in which case dental implants provide the solution. 

You’re starting to experience bone loss. When one or more teeth are missing, the other soft and hard tissues begin to move inward toward that gap to accommodate for space. This can cause other problems like changes in appearance or difficulties biting, chewing or speaking. Dental implants can actually prevent bone loss. 

You have a sunken-in look in your face. This is a common problem for patients who have missing teeth, even if they wear dentures. This appearance is the result of bone loss and since dentures don’t stimulate bone growth as dental implants do, the bone continues to deteriorate. 

You have a bridge that needs to be replaced. This restoration could have served you well while it lasted, but it wasn’t meant to be permanent so over time it’s broken down. If you find that your bridge is no longer serving you well, it’s a good time to consider upgrading to a permanent solution like dental implants. 

You wear ill-fitting dentures or partials that affect your quality of life. Loose or ill-fitting dentures or partials can cause problems in daily life if you’re self-conscious about eating, smiling or doing anything for fear they will fall out. No one wants to constantly worry about their dentures or partials falling out or causing problems when they’re enjoying family time, a night out or at an important event. Let us help restore your confidence with dental implants. 

You have bite problems because of a missing tooth, bone recession or tooth movement. Bite problems and misalignment are common side effects of missing teeth. 

Because the bone and tissue shift to fill the gap, your entire bite can change. If you notice pain or problems with your bite and have missing teeth dental implants can help. 

You want a permanent smile solution to missing teeth. Being able to just live your life without worrying about missing teeth for the reasons mentioned above is quite freeing. If you’re ready to feel the freedom that comes with a permanent restoration, dental implants can help. 

The Dental Implant Restoration Process

Preparing for treatment

To prepare for your treatment you will have a comprehensive oral evaluation including a review of medical and dental history. During this time we’ll use our advanced technology like digital x-rays, 3D imaging and mapping, models and intraoral photographs to gather high-quality information to chart the course. In some cases, we consult and work closely with our trusted specialist to fulfill your treatment plan. Your treatment plan will be tailored to your situation and takes into account many factors like location and number of missing teeth, as well as other dental issues that may need care. 

Treatment procedure

After careful planning and discussion with you, your treatment is scheduled. The process of placing the implant involves advanced oral surgery techniques. We offer sedation options to ensure your maximum comfort throughout the entire procedure. Your dentist will expertly place your artificial root in the place of your missing tooth. Once healed, the post provides a solid foundation to place a custom crown, bridge or denture. During your healing period, we will create your natural-looking tooth and schedule the next appointment to finish your new smile. All treatment is directed by your Ranieu Family Dental team you know and trust. 

Healing process

After the implant is placed and your gums are healed, your artificial tooth or teeth will be placed onto your implant. Then your gum tissue will heal around the tooth just as your natural teeth and gums do. You may experience some discomfort associated with any time of dental surgery like swelling, bruising, pain at the implant site and minor bleeding. Your dentist will discuss this in-depth so you know what to expect. You may be prescribed medication to alleviate symptoms. After your dental implant surgery, eat soft foods and practice good oral hygiene to keep the surgical site clean. Now all that’s left is to enjoy your new smile! 

Dental Implant Benefits

Living your life pain-free while enjoying foods you love and smiling freely is the primary benefit of dental implant treatment. Restoring a mouth to total health is our passion. Helping each patient feel whole and happy is our goal. While helping each person live the life they want without dental restrictions, there are many other benefits of dental implants, including: 

  • Permanent restoration. Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene care and routine dental checkups. 
  • Stability. Patients can eat and speak with confidence since the implants are secured into their jaw. With no removable pieces, there’s nothing to worry about. 
  • A natural-looking smile. It looks and functions like natural teeth, so you can smile with ease. 
  • Prevents bone loss and tooth movement. A secure post prevents bone loss and actually stimulates bone growth. The implants hold the space of the missing tooth to prevent further tooth movement. 
  • Improves smile aesthetics. Missing teeth contribute to bone loss and tooth movement which changes the appearance of your smile and facial structure. Dental implants prevent this from happening while maintaining the integrity of your jaw. 

Dental implants are a complete smile solution that provides a strong foundation for all oral functions, like biting into your favorite apple without worry. Since they look and function like natural teeth, you can maintain your typical oral health care routine of brushing and flossing twice daily. With proper care and attention, dental implants can last a lifetime. 

The Value of Dental Implants

Dental implants provide the best long term value when restoring missing teeth. This is why they’re one of the most popular options selected by patients. With proper care, dental implants will last a lifetime, which means you don’t need to continually repair and replace them like many other types of restorations. By investing in dental implants early, patients can enjoy cost savings over time, freedom to live their lives pain-free and enjoy a beautiful new smile. We do accept most insurance plans, but providers may not cover the full treatment, which is why we offer comfortable financing options so you can get the treatment you need without worrying about your family budget. We also offer an in-house dental savings plan so you can get services at a reduced rate. 

You can’t put a price on your happiness, health, and quality of life, but dental implants prove to be a valuable investment in helping you achieve that. If you want to discuss your path forward contact us for a consultation.