Missing teeth can dramatically impact your smile, your self-confidence, and your oral health. However, missing teeth don’t need to get you down. Discover how dental implants can help transform your smile and outlook on life.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are devices that replace missing teeth. They consist of metal frames or posts surgically implanted into patients’ jawbones, just beneath their gums, abutments or posts that serve as connectors, and replacement teeth made of zirconium or porcelain. Over time, dental implants fuse to become part of the jawbone. This makes them a secure and effective choice for replacing teeth.
Dental implants are typically well-received, with success rates of up to 98%. However, results vary according to where they’re placed in the jaw. Your dentist can assess whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants.
Why Should You Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants have several benefits for patients with missing teeth. People with dental implants notice the following advantages:
- They are more stable and stronger than any other tooth replacement solution.
- They make smiles more attractive, as they are the right size, shape, and look for your mouth and face.
- They are resistant to cavities.
- They minimize the risk of jawbone deterioration.
- They are slip-proof, even when you talk, cough, or eat a variety of foods.
- They help patients eat and talk more naturally, without slurring or mumbling.
- They are very comfortable because they become a part of you.
- They improve confidence and overall wellbeing.
- They are a permanent tooth replacement solution when properly cared for.
How Do Dental Implants Compare to Bridges?
As dental implants and bridges both replace missing teeth, you might wonder which one you should get to repair your smile. Most patients with healthy gums and enough jawbone left to hold them in place can get dental implants. In contrast, you must satisfy much more stringent criteria for bridges.
Bridges attach to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing teeth they’re replacing. Implants don’t rely on other teeth to hold them in place, so they suit a wider range of mouths. Bridges also won’t work if you have sore spots or poor ridges, but implants should. Since implants work independently of other teeth, your dentist won’t reduce the teeth around it as they often do with bridges. Maintaining more of your natural teeth is much better for your oral health.
Since dental implants become part of the jawbone, they can’t move around the mouth at all. Many patients say dental implants feel more like their natural teeth than bridges do. Some patients find bridges uncomfortable, yet quickly become accustomed to dental implants.
Dental implants require surgical implantation, so they’re a more expensive option than bridges. The surgery takes more time and can leave your mouth feeling tender and swollen at first. However, since dental implants attach to the jawbone, they’re more stable and long-lasting. Bridges typically last for 10 years while implants can last a lifetime. Their longevity makes them worth the higher initial investment for many patients.
What Happens at a Dental Implant Appointment?
At Affinity Dental, we want to make sure all our patients feel comfortable. That’s why we take the time to walk you through the entire process before we begin, so you’ll know just what to expect. We’ll work with you to create a customized treatment plan that suits your lifestyle and dental needs.
We’ll also make sure you’re a good candidate for a dental implant. We’ll assess your gums and jawbone to make sure they’ll suit the implants. We’ll also discuss your overall health. Implants may not be the best choice for heavy smokers, patients who’ve had radiation therapy to the head or neck, and patients with uncontrolled chronic conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
Getting a dental implant requires several appointments. Inserting the dental root implant is the first step. This implant takes between 6 to 12 weeks to fuse with the jawbone. Once this process occurs, we can attach your abutment and replacement tooth. While dental implants are comfortable, yours may not feel right straight away. It may take several adjustments over the next few weeks or months until your dental implant fits perfectly.
How to Care for Dental Implants
Dental implants require all the care natural teeth do. You should practice good oral hygiene, brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly, to maintain your implants. However, implants don’t require any special brushing or flossing techniques, as bridges do. That’s because individual implants have spaces between them, as natural teeth do, so they’re easier to keep clean.
Your dentists will monitor your implants at your regular dental appointments, so make sure you stick to your recommended appointment schedule.
The friendly team at Affinity Dental would love to help you start smiling confidently again. Call us on 604-821-1111 or complete our online contact form to learn whether dental implants are right for you.