Missing teeth can alter your facial shape and throw your bite off alignment. Having a sunken face can cause self-consciousness and lower your self-esteem. Your dentist could recommend a dental implant if you have lost your teeth through trauma, decay, or periodontal gum disease. Dental implants are artificial teeth that are attached to your jawbone. After some time, the bone around the implants grows to hold it securely. A crown is placed above the implant to act as the tooth enamel. Individuals with loose bridges and dentures could be candidates for the procedure.
Dental implant surgery has become popular due to its numerous benefits, including durability and the ability to mimic natural teeth' natural outlook and function. If you or your loved one weeks to restore their tooth appearance and function, you will need the safe and reliable services we offer at Beach Dental Care Anaheim.
Overview of Dental Implants
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root surgically placed into the jawbone to support a crown that mimics the tooth enamel. Dental implant surgery replaces missing teeth and is a more convenient alternative to dental bridges or dentures. You may be a good candidate for dental implants if:
You have a Missing Tooth or Teeth.
There are several ways to lose your tooth, from severe periodontal disease and tooth decay to blunt trauma. Having a missing tooth can impact your smile and overall appearance. Fortunately, dental implants are a great option to retain your missing teeth. The dental implant will fill the gap left by the lost tooth and restore the natural look. Your dentist can recommend a dental implant for one or multiple missing teeth.
You Have Loose Partials or Dentures.
Over time, dentures and partials loosen. It is shameful to walk around with loose dentures, especially since other alternatives like dental implants exist. With a dental implant, the dentures are held in place, and you will not need to worry about dentures falling off as you go about your day. The implants look more natural and comfortable in your mouth.
You Have Severely Damaged Teeth.
When a tooth is infected, the dentist will try to save it through a root canal, fillings, or crowns. However, in cases where the tooth cannot be saved, it must be extracted. If your doctor advises removing a tooth, you may need a dental implant to replace it. A dental implant serves as the natural tooth for appearance and function.
You Experience a Sunken Face
Unfortunately, individuals who choose dentures for tooth replacement could have a sunken facial appearance. One of the reasons why dentures cause a sunken face is because they do not stimulate the jawbones or stimulate the regrowth of critical tissues. Fitting dental implants help to restore the normal facial structure.
You Have Broken Teeth
A broken tooth with minimal damage can be fixed with a filling or crown. However, when the damage is severe, a dental implant may be the only way to replace it and restore the appearance and function of the tooth.
Dental implants are categorized into two main types:
- Endosteal. Endosteal implants are the most common types of dental implants used for the replacement of missing teeth. The implant resembles a small screw made of materials like titanium. The dentist inserts the endosteal implants into your jawbone to act as the tooth root. A single implant can help support multiple teeth.
- Subperiosteal. This dental implant is placed on top of your jaw with metals that protrude through the gums for maximum support. Subperiosteal implants are recommended when you do not have a healthy jawbone to support the implant.
Dental Implant Procedure
Depending on your chosen implant and the specific condition that warrants a dental implant, your dentist will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Some of the treatment plans you could explore include the following:
- Single tooth implants. If you have lost a single tooth through extraction or trauma, you may require one dental implant to replace it.
- Multiple tooth implants. If you are missing several teeth, you will need multiple implants.
- Full mouth implants. You may be a good candidate for full-mouth dental implants if you have lost all your teeth.
- Ridge modification. Deformities on your jaws can leave an inadequate bone volume to place the dental implants. The dentist will correct this problem by lifting the gum away from the ridge and filling the void with bone or bone substitutes.
- Sinus augmentation. The presence of bone volume to attach dental implants is key. The upper jaw presents difficulties placing an implant due to insufficient bone quantity. Sinus augmentation involves raising the sinus floor to grow a bone for implant placement.
Tooth restoration using a dental implant is done through the following steps:
The initial step of dental implant placement involves different specialists examining the health and condition of your mouth and jaws. Since a dental implant requires more than one surgical procedure, you must undergo a thorough evaluation inducing:
- Review of your medical history
- A comprehensive dental exam is accomplished through x-rays. If you have complications like gum disease or tooth decay, you may need to have them treated before receiving the implants.
- Formulation of a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs
If your jaw bone is not thick enough or lacks the proper bone volume to support the implants, you must undergo bone grafting before the placement. A bone graft creates a solid base for your implant. Your dentist can utilize several graft materials to rebuild your jawbone. Some options could include natural grafts, which utilize bones from another part of your body b or bone substitutes. It takes six months for the implanted bone to grow and achieve the necessary volume for implant support.
Placement of the Implant
The surgery to place your dental implant begins when the oral surgeon cuts open your gums to expose the bone. The surgeon will drill holes in the bone to place the dental implant metal post. The metal post serves as a tooth root. Since the permanent crown is not placed until the root is properly attached, the specialist will place a temporary crown. After placement of the metal post, you must wait for the jawbone to grow and unite with the dental implant surface.
Placing the Abutment
When the process of osseointegration is complete, you will need another procedure to place the abutment. An abutment is the part of a dental implant where the crown is attached. During this procedure, your oral surgeon will reopen your gum to expose the artificial root for abutment attachment.
Selection and Placement of the Artificial Tooth
When your gums heal from surgical procedures, the dentist will make more impressions of your mouth for custom-made crowns. Your dental specialist can guide you through choosing a removable or fixed artificial tooth. A fixed tooth is permanently screwed onto an individual abutment. On the other hand, removable teeth are similar to removable dentures.
Benefits of Dental Implants
It is natural to have many questions and reservations about dental implants because it involves surgery. However, this cosmetic dental procedure's benefits are overwhelming, including the following:
- Dental implants mimic the natural tooth. One of the main advantages of dental implants is their ability to look and feel like natural teeth. After the dental implants have healed, you may not feel the difference between the implants and your teeth. This makes it easier to adapt to having the restorations.
- Restore natural tooth function. You may find it challenging to achieve a normal bit when you lose your teeth. Since the implants include a root and a crown, they can mimic the natural characteristics of the lost tooth. Some of the functions of natural teeth you regain by undergoing dental implant surgery include restoring the full bite with the ability to chew on tough foods and ease of cleaning.
- Dental implants are stable. Dental implants are stable compared to dentures and partials, which loosen after some time. Dentures can accidentally slip when you speak or laugh, which could lead to emotional distress.
- Durability. Most dental restorations have a lifespan. Bridges last up to seven years, while dentures can serve you for a decade. However, with proper care, dental implants will hardly need replacement throughout your lifetime.
- Preserve the bone structure. When you lose your tooth, you could suffer bone loss in the space left by that tooth. However, dental implants stimulate the bone and tissues around the lost tooth, preserving its structure.
- Prevents face sagging. Your facial structure begins to change when you lose your teeth. Other visible changes that could result from tooth loss include thinning of the lips, wrinkling around the mouth, and a pointed chin. Dental implants will properly fill up the vacant spaces to avoid these effects.
- Ease of Maintenance. After tooth replacement procedures, you may need to buy expensive products for cleaning the restorations. With a dental implant, you do not need any special care.
Complications associated with Dental Implants
Like other surgeries, dental implant surgery poses various risks, including the following:
- Infection. Infection at the implant site is one of the most common complications of dental implant surgery. Your oral surgeon will reduce the likelihood of these complications by sterilizing the equipment and your mouth before the surgery. Some symptoms associated with infection include swelling, redness, and pus around the dental implant site. However, if you experience the symptoms of infection, you must seek emergency care.
- Loose implant. Within the first weeks after dental implant surgery, the bones will grow back and fuse to offer maximum support for the implant. If the implant fails to fuse with the bone, you could experience a loose implant.
- Tissue or nerve damage. When a dental implant is placed too close to the nerves, you could experience numbness, pain, or tingling. Nerve or tissue injuries can present long-term complications requiring immediate attention.
- Sinus issues. Sometimes, implants placed on the upper jaw can protrude into the sinus, causing inflammation. Common symptoms of sinus damage include a blocked nose, bad breath, and pain around the cheeks.
Dental Implants Aftercare
The placement of dental implants is oral surgery. Even after receiving anesthesia or sedation to cope with pain and anxiety from the procedure, you must follow up with the postoperative instructions provided by your dentist. How well you care for your teeth and mouth following this procedure will impact their longevity. Often, you are discharged from the hospital several hours after the procedure. While the anesthesia effect will have ended when you go home, you may need someone to drive you. The following are some of the instructions that your dentist will provide.
Managing pain and Discomfort
It is normal to experience slight pain, discomfort, and swelling after oral surgery. However, the swelling and pain should go down within a few days. It would be best not to be alarmed when you notice small blood spots in your saliva. The dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to manage the pain and swelling. Additionally, you may need antibiotics to prevent infection. If you notice persistent bleeding or swelling that doesn’t resolve after several days, you should consult your dentist for more instructions.
Your mouth will be very sensitive after dental implant surgery. For the first few days, you should avoid hot and spicy foods. These foods can cause irritation or burning of the surgical area, causing infections. After three or four days, you can resume a normal diet. However, you should avoid biting on hard foods using the implant area.
After the surgery, you may experience pain chewing your food and thus be tempted to skip means. Proper nutrition is essential for the healing of your mouth and gums. Therefore, missing meals is not a good idea. Additionally, it would help if you took plenty of water to keep your mouth from drying.
Tooth replacement with dental implants is not a pass for poor oral care. Proper oral care involves practicing proper hygiene. You should brush and floss your teeth as you would your natural teeth. However, before the healing process is complete, you should avoid oral health practices that can irritate the gums or mouth. After meals, you can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to remove bacteria.
Another component of oral care you should not forgo after dental implant surgery is regular dental visits. During these visits, your dentist will check the healing of your surgical site and the condition of the implants.
Avoid Damaging Habits
One of the common causes of implant failure is force and trauma from excessive pressure. After your dental implant surgery, you should avoid biting hard foods. Additionally, you should avoid using your teeth as tools to open plastic bags. If you suffer from bruxism, you must have the problem resolved. Appliances like a bite guard could offer maximum protection from teeth grinding.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol.
Smoking and taking alcohol are detrimental to your overall health. However, avoiding these habits must be avoided after dental implant surgery. Dental implants take up to six months for complete recovery. Smoking and taking alcohol can slow the healing process.
Cost of Dental Implants
One of the factors that could affect your desire or ability to get dental implants is their cost. In California, the cost of dental implants varies depending on the following factors:
- Location of the implant. Often, implants located at the back of the jaw may be more challenging to place; thus, they cost more.
- The number of implants you need. If you need to replace multiple teeth, you will spend more for multiple implants.
- Need for additional procedures. You may require additional procedures to restore the jawbone for proper implant support if you have an unhealthy jawbone or low bone volume.
After assessing your condition, your dentist can estimate the cost of your dental implant surgery. Since dental implants offer both cosmetic and overall dental health benefits, insurance policies could cover a portion of the treatment costs.
If dental implants are out of your budget, you can explore other inexpensive options like bridges. However, you must understand that the bridges are harder to maintain and do not last as long as the implants.
Find a Knowledgeable Anaheim Cosmetic Dentist Near Me
Dental implants are artificial structures a dental surgeon places on your jaw to replace teeth lost through decay, gum disease, or trauma. Although dental implants offer a variety of benefits for individuals with missing teeth and other dental complications, dental implant surgery is not suitable for everyone. You will need to undergo extensive dental examinations by a dental surgeon to determine your suitability for the procedure.
Dental implants have a high success rate. However, when the procedure is done improperly, you should suffer serious side effects. Therefore, you must consult with a skilled dental surgeon. At Beach Dental Care Anaheim, we utilize the latest dental technology to restore and maintain a perfect smile. Our skilled surgeons offer reliable cosmetic dental services to all our clients in Anaheim, CA. Contact us today at 714-995-4000.