If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable or don’t want to have good tooth structure removed to make a bridge, call us at (469)331-5962 to see if dental implants are an option for you.
Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They allow you to live the way you want to – confidently eating, smiling, laughing, talking, kissing and enjoying all of your everyday activities without worrying about your teeth. Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them.
Here are four important advantages of dental implants, compared to alternatives such as dentures and bridges:
- You’ll look and feel great. Dental implants feel, look, fit and function like healthy, natural teeth. They’re so comfortable you don’t have to think about them. You brush and floss them just like you do your natural teeth – no need to remove them for cleaning. They also help you retain your natural face shape and smile.
- They’re built to last. Dental implants that are properly cared for can last many decades. Many other options, including certain types of dental bridges and dentures, may need to be replaced as often as every 5 to 10 years, requiring a more significant investment of time and money.
- You can live life with confidence. Your dental implants will be secure, so they won’t slip or click when you talk, eat or laugh. You’ll also find that your speech is more natural. With dental implants, you’ll have the peace of mind to eat what you love, say what you want to say, be as active as you want and smile broadly.
- They protect facial bone and healthy teeth. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to health issues such as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that actually helps stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss. Getting dental implants as soon as possible after losing a tooth helps prevent bone loss at the site. Also, dental implants don’t require grinding down adjacent teeth to anchor bridges or attach partial dentures.
Patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth. There are generally three phases to getting an implant:
- First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods, and warm soup during the healing process.
- Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone” and takes time. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
- Finally, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single tooth implant, your dentist will customize a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit, and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
Five facts about dental implants:
- Ancient dental implants have been traced back to around 600 AD when tooth-like pieces of shell were hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman.
- Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth.
- In 1951, a small group of dentists who were successfully placing dental implants formed the AAID – American Academy of Implant Dentistry – to share their knowledge on the practice of implantology. AAID is the first professional organization in the world dedicated to advancing implant dentistry.
- In 1952, Swedish orthopedic surgeon P.I. Branemark discovered that titanium naturally fuses with bone, eventually switching his research focus to the mouth from the knee and hip.
- 3 million people in the United States have implants, a number that is growing by 500,000 annually.
If you are interested in dental implants, it’s a good idea to discuss it carefully with one of our dentists first. Call us today at 469-331-5962 to schedule an appointment. We are very likely able to see you today! Or click here to let us know you are interested and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.