Even with the improvements in dental care, millions of Americans still suffer from tooth loss due to injury, tooth decay or periodontal disease.
While only bridges and dentures were available for missing teeth in the past, dental implants are also available as a solution now.
What Are Implants?
Dental Implants are a foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Dental implants are surgically placed in your jaw bone and act as replacement tooth roots.
What Are Some of the Advantages?
Dental implants have several advantages such as:
- Improved appearance: As dental implants fuse with bone and become permanent, they look and feel like your own teeth.
- Improved speech: Mumbling or slurring your words can be caused by poor-fitting dentures that slip within your mouth. Implants do not slip and allow you to speak freely.
- Improved comfort: As implants fuse with bone and become a part of you, it eliminates the discomfort caused by removable dentures.
- Improved self-esteem: Implants restore your self-esteem by giving you back your smile.
- Improved oral health: As implants don’t require tooth reduction like in the case of dental bridge and does not alter nearby teeth to support implant, more of your own teeth are left which improves long-term oral health. It also facilitates easier access between teeth making it easier to take care of oral hygiene.
- Durability: Implants are very durable, and with proper care will last a lifetime.
- Convenience: Implants are more convenient than removable dentures as they do not have the embarrassing inconvenience of removable denture and do not require messy adhesive to be kept in place like removable dentures.
Are Dental Implants Successful?
Success of dental implants is dependent on various factors such as where in the jaw the implants is placed, however, in general implants have up to 98 percent success rate and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
In order to be a candidate for dental implants, you need to have healthy gums as well as enough bone to hold the implant. Generally, people who can undergo oral surgery or routine dental extractions can be considered candidates. Candidates also need to be committed to good oral hygiene. People diagnosed with chronic disorders such as heart disease or diabetes, patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area, or heavy smokers need to be evaluated on an individual basis by their dentist.
Are Dental Implants Covered by Insurance?
While dental implants are not covered by dental insurance in general, they may be covered by your medical plan depending on the insurance plan or the cause of tooth loss. Details can be discussed with your insurance provider and your dentist.
Steps Towards Dental Implants
The first step in the process of getting dental implants is developing your individualized treatment plan. Your dental team will discuss your needs and address and concerns that you have and create a plan for your specific needs.
The next step is the placement of the tooth root implant (a small titanium post) into the bone socket of the missing tooth. After the healing process is over, which can take from six to twelve weeks, the jawbone grows around the implanted metal post and anchors it in the jaw securely.
After the implant is bonded to the jawbone an abutment (small connector post) is attached to the post. This abutment holds the new tooth securely. Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and create a model of your bite including your teeth, their arrangement and their type.
The new teeth are based on this model and the dentist will also match the color of the replacement teeth to your natural teeth so your smile looks more natural. After the replacement teeth are created in the lab, the dentist will then attach the replacement teeth to the abutment.
In general, dental crowns are attached in the case of individual missing teeth while implant supported dentures are attached to the implants in the case of multiple missing teeth or missing teeth in the entire upper or lower jaw.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
In most cases, there is very little discomfort felt in the procedure as local anesthesia is used during the procedure. Most patients experience less pain than during a tooth extraction. Mild soreness can be experienced after the procedure, which can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication like Motrin or Tylenol.
How to Take Care of Dental Implants
The process of taking care of dental implants is the same as taking care of your real teeth which includes brushing, flossing, regular dentist visits and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.
If you would like to learn more about Washington DC dental implants, you can browse our website at www.softtouchdentists.com.
Want to contact us directly? Call us at 202-333-3883 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.