By Robert L. Byrum DDS, PC, Pleasant Valley Dentistry
A smile says a lot about you. It can say even more when you are missing teeth. One option is dental implants, which are artificial root replacements we build upon to create the feel, function, and look of natural, healthy teeth. Dental implants are mostly used to counter tooth loss.
Reasons to get dental implants
- To replace a missing tooth or teeth in a way that is permanent and looks and feels like your own natural healthy tooth or teeth
- It costs less to replace a missing tooth with an implant than any other permanent solution.
- To secure partial dentures or full dentures so they don’t rock or come loose when you bite into something, or when you chew certain foods like corn on the cob or meat
Who is the right candidate for dental implants?
Generally, anyone who is missing at least one tooth and is in good enough health to undergo a possible extraction should be able to have dental implants. If dentures are uncomfortable for you, then dental implants may also be a good option for you. Age is not a limitation for dental implant treatment. Some medical conditions will have to be taken into consideration before having a dental implant procedure, such as smoking, alcohol abuse, or a chronic disease.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants are more comfortable than removable full or partial dentures. Dentures may also cause gum irritation that is extremely uncomfortable. Dental implants are anchored securely in the mouth and are the closest replacement of your natural teeth. This eliminates the slippage of dentures that causes gum irritation.
A dental implant may be used when a person is simply missing one tooth. In this way, the missing tooth may be replaced without having to treat adjacent teeth. They can also be used with bridges for replacement of multiple missing teeth.
For those who wear dentures, they sometimes slip around inside the mouth. To keep conventional dentures stable, wearers can develop tense facial muscles from trying to keep them in place, which can result in slurred, speech, clicking noises, mumbling, and formation of facial skin wrinkles! Dental implants allow you to speak as you normally would, thereby lowering one’s facial muscle tension.
Dental implants also eliminate the need for denture adhesives. Since they act like your natural teeth, they also help you to chew normally.
What is the dental implant procedure?
First, the mouth is prepared for implantation. A place is prepared where the implant will be positioned. Great skill is required in this placement process. Sometimes a CT scan of your jaw is done to help in avoiding disturbing vital mouth structures.
Once the implant is in place, a temporary crown or cap is placed over the dental implant, which allows the area to heal and shape itself around the dental implant in a natural way. The temporary crown or cap is later replaced with a permanent fixture.
What is the recovery from a dental implant procedure?
Initial recovery will depend on the number of procedures that have been completed. Once the implant is in place, good oral hygiene such as brushing, and flossing is required to ensure proper healing of the area surrounding the implant. Good oral hygiene will also help prevent infection. Smoking is not recommended following a dental implant procedure.
If you think you are a candidate for dental implants, please make an appointment for an evaluation. Discuss with your dentist the options available and any complications that may arise. This will help you determine if dental implants are right for you.
To see if you are a candidate for dental implants, please contact Byrum Family Dentistry at 563-275-3566 or visit their website at www.pleasantvalleydentistryqc.com.