When thinking about missing teeth it seems that a lot of individuals only consider getting dentures as that is what many are used to hearing. However, there is such thing as dental implants that can replace one tooth or many teeth. They function just like the healthy teeth that you already have. Continue reading as we explore how implants can help with bone loss . Also, we will tackle other questions that may cross your mind.

What Exactly are Implants and How Does It Help With Bone Loss?

A dental implant is a procedure in which a professional dentist takes a titanium post and it is used similarly to a tooth root. It is positioned into the jaw bone and this will allow the dentist to mount a replacement tooth. The great thing about implants is that they help to preserve natural bone and helps to stimulate bone growth. They are considered a long term solution and can last upward 25 years depending on the type of procedure and technique used. They are designed to bond with your jaw bone in order to support your crown. They are considered better for your oral health compared to bridges because they do not involve being attached to other teeth.

If a loose tooth that does not have a reinforcement isn’t replaced as soon as possible, the bone in the area will begin to shrink. The bone density of the teeth surrounding that area will decrease as well. This will begin a bad cycle where teeth will more than likely continue to fall out over time. This is why an implant should be considered if you have failing teeth or you have already lost any teeth.

What Are the Different Types of Implants?

There are two types of implants for your teeth. These two dental implants are Endosteal and Subperiosteal. Below, we will take a look at each separately;

Endosteal Implants

Endosteal implants are drilled directly into the jaw bone. After the gum tissue has healed, the post itself is connected to the implant. Afterward, the artificial tooth, or crown, is added to the post. The endosteal implant can be either in blade or root form. The determination as to which form will be used will depend on the amount of bone available, the quality of the bone, and the expectations of the patient.

Subperiosteal Implants

Subperiosteal implants are made out of a metal framework. The framework is attached under the gum tissue but it remains above the jaw bone of the patient. Above the surface of the framework, there are small metal posts. These posts are anchors for the replacement tooth or teeth. The main difference between endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants as the fact that subperiosteal implants are on the bone versus into the bone. Subperiosteal implants are usually used when there is a large area to cover in the case of a patient missing several teeth.

Some patients may not have a jawline that can support dental implants but there are techniques that can help rebuild the bone and restore the jawline. Bone augmentation, a sinus lift, and ridge expansions are examples of the techniques that can help with the foundation of implanted teeth.

What Are Some of the Benefits of Having Dental Implants?

One of the first benefits would have to be that they will help you with the ability to chew. Depending on the type of food that you eat, having a missing tooth or teeth can make that task very difficult. Another benefit is more so of a psychological one. Having missing teeth could really bother a person’s self-esteem at times. Having missing teeth could also alter the way your words are heard when you speak due to the space between your teeth. For some individuals, they are more comfortable than having removable dentures because dental implants become a part of you in a sense. They are also great for your oral health. Since they do not require other teeth to support them, which is usually the case with bridges, you will be left with a tooth that can handle itself.

What Are the Steps Involved When Getting Implants

Let’s say that you have decided you would like some implants and would like to know a little more about the steps involved. Like many dental procedures, there are different ways things are done depending on many factors. In general, however, here are some steps that are usually taken;

1. Getting a Consultation: This is normal for many medical procedures. This is when the Dentist takes x-rays and other metrics to determine exactly what would be the best approach. This is where they develop the plan to execute to have both a successful procedure but also to make sure it is going to make the patient happy.

2. The Dental Implant is Placed: The Dentist will place your implant during your next visit. The procedure time will vary depending on what exactly is being done and it is different from patient to patient. As with most other dental procedures you may have pain and swelling afterward. Most individuals do not have agonizing pain and use a pain medicine that can be found at a local store unless your Dentist recommends a different route.

3. The Healing Process Begins: After the implant, you must wait for the area to heal. As time passes, your implant and jawbone will grow together. This is called osseointegration. This could take several months and you may be placed on a soft food diet as everything heals.

4. Your New Teeth Are Given: After the bonding of the implant and the jawbone, a small connector is placed on the implant. Once the gums heal, your dentist will custom-make your teeth and it will be attached to the small connector which is called an abutment.

5. Future Checkups: Afterward, you will have check-ups with your Dentist to ensure everything is going well post-procedure. Your implants will function just like your other teeth so they should be treated the same way including brushing and flossing.

Dr. Andy Gaertner graduated from Nova Southeastern University in Miami where he earned a B.S. in Biology and later received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine. Dr. Gaertner is a member of the American Dental Association and is the Doctor of Bliss Dental located in Miami, Florida where he believes in patient satisfaction, comfort, cosmetic excellence, and quality care. Feel free to visit his site if you’re in need of dental implants in South Florida.