In looking at the numerous ways to handle the loss of teeth some appear less ideal than others. With bridges and dentures it is sometimes possible to see a difference in the teeth, an element that can detract from a person’s appearance. Both bridges, and dentures can also slip or start to fit incorrectly, causing problems with speech. Dental implants look and function more like natural teeth, making them a more attractive solution for some people with missing or damaged teeth.
The question of what are dental implants is one a dentist hears frequently. Even before losing teeth some patients think ahead to solutions other than dentures. The reason for the interest is that these implants look and function more like natural teeth to the point few would notice the difference. When smiling or eating in public there’s less chance of detection since the implant is fixed permanently into the jawbone. The implants are not removable and are less prone to slipping or failing as dentures or bridges.
The biggest benefit most people find with the implant over other methods such as tooth replacement is these connect directly into the jawbone. This offers the replace a similar support system to natural teeth’s roots. While nothing can completely replace a missing tooth this is closest in function and appearance. Without some type of replacement a missing tooth can cause bone loss, eating difficulties, and problems speaking.
The complete process of getting an implant will take more than one day. This is a surgical procedure, and the individual having an implant will have a period of healing first from the procedure itself, and then as the bone fuses to the implant. While the process for having a bridge or dentures is shorter and healing times are faster these often need replacement. Bridges are placed after making changes to other teeth and the stability depends on the existing natural teeth. As the implant fuses to the bone there is seldom, if ever a need for replace or further procedures. Once the implant is placed and the healing process is complete, most who have this type of dental work have fewer worries when eating, drinking, and speaking.
To determine if implants are right for a patient a dentist or oral surgeon will look carefully at the surrounding teeth, gums, and the jawbone. This can involve the use of X-rays, and computer scans of the teeth and jaw. This is done to ensure there are no existing gum disease or bone problems that would make a transplant less successful. Once this evaluation is complete it possible for the dentist or oral surgeon to explain what will be needed to complete the implant procedure. In some cases this might involve a bone graft, or other preparations. Other teeth are seldom changed unless these teeth are also damaged and need replacement.