Losing a tooth is something many people have nightmares about, and if it does happen it can make you feel self-conscious when eating, talking, and smiling. Years ago, the only fixes for this were removable dentures or a fixed bridge. Dentures can slip and click when speaking, and fixed bridges are supported by neighboring healthy teeth as anchors, which can damage these later on.
But, nowadays there are much more efficient and authentic looking replacements available. A dental implant procedure can give you a replacement tooth that looks, feels and functions as naturally as the original.
Here is everything you need to know about this procedure, if and when you ever need it:
What is it?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is surgically fitted into your mouth by an oral surgeon or periodontist. They are made of titanium metal and bone-like ceramic and fused into your mouth by their ‘root’ like a normal tooth. There are two types of implants; An endosteal implant which is the most common, and is fitted into the bone. A subperiosteal implant is positioned on top of the bone and is for patients who have inadequate bone structure.
What Are The Advantages?
Dental implants are a very popular remedy for tooth loss nowadays, and for good reason!
- They look authentic. Implants are much more superior that bridges and dentures as they fit like a real tooth, and look exactly like a real tooth.
- They are reliable as they don’t slip or move in your mouth. Dentures can click when you speak, or even fall out sometimes. An implant isn’t going anywhere!
- They’re easy to look after as you clean them like you would any other tooth. They can last a lifetime as well, as long as you look after them. Unlike other treatments which can need replacing multiple times.
- They don’t affect your other teeth like bridges, which are fitted onto neighbouring healthy teeth. These can eventually damage other teeth, which will then need replacing in turn. Implants stand alone and don’t rely on other teeth.
How Are They Fitted?
For an authentic and permanent result, you are going to have to expect a lengthy treatment. After you have made an appointment with your dentist to replace missing teeth with dental implants, they will take x-rays and moulds of your mouth, to check that a dental implant is a right choice for you. When you are ready for fitting, the implant will be fitted under local anesthetic. After surgery, you will probably experience some pain and swelling, but this will ease. You’ll need to be careful with what you eat and drink, as your mouth can be quite sore. During the six months after surgery, you will undergo osseointegration. This is the procedure of your bone and implant fixing together, and your dentist will check on this regularly.
What Happens After?
When the treatment is over, you will need to look after your implant to ensure it lasts a lifetime. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly. Take your time, making sure you get all sides of each tooth, and under the gum line.