For many people dentures are not an option – there is always the possibility that they can fall out while one is talking or eating. If you have missing teeth and feel this way one good option is dental implants. Dental implants are titanium screws that are inserted into a gap to act as the root of a new, artificial tooth. They are permanent and not removable – once they are in you will have them for the rest of your life. Dental implants are safe and will not harm your body in any way.
Dental implants require care just as teeth do – they will last for as long as you take care of them. If you fail to brush on a regular basis implants develop a coating similar to the tartar that grows on teeth and eventually lead to gum infection and bleeding at which point they may need to be removed. One common question when it comes to dental implants is whether they are only used to replace one or two teeth. The answer is that you can have one dental implant, or you can have all your teeth removed and replaced with dental implants – it all depends on the extent of the damage to your teeth.
Benefits of dental implants
• Implants look exactly like your natural teeth so there is no way for others to know that they are implants. They will help you feel more confident so that you can go about your life as you used to before.
• As mentioned earlier, dental implants do not come off – there is no risk that you will experience an embarrassing situation.
• You clean dental implants the very same way you clean your teeth so there is no extra work involved in taking care of them.
• Implants do not require the neighboring teeth for support unlike bridges which means that teeth structure is left intact.
• When you have gaps in your gum it affects the shape of your face – your cheeks will eventually sink in and make you look older than you are. You can prevent this from happening by getting dental implants.
• Implants allow you to indulge in foods that you otherwise wouldn’t if you had gaps.
• Implants allow you to correct speech impediments that are caused by missing teeth.
• Because dental implants last so long they are one of the most cost effective ways of replacing missing teeth – so long as they are properly taken care of you can expect them to last your whole life with only a few minor adjustments from time to time.
• Many people do not know it but having a gap eventually affects the jaw which can lead to deterioration and other health problems. Dental implants can stop this from happening.
• You will not have to worry about dental cavities if you have dental implants – they don’t suffer tooth decay.
• Dental implants are one of the most reliable ways of replacing missing teeth.
Placement of implants
Placing dental implants is not difficult – your dentist will anesthize the area and then drill and place the implant. You will feel a bit sore afterwards and you may have to take antibiotics to prevent infection. The soreness will go away after a few days and you will not feel the implant. After that your dentist will wait for between 2 and 6 months before he places your crown. This allows the implant and the jaw bone to fuse together so it is more like the natural root of a tooth. You will be fitted with a temporary crown during this period as the dentist prepares your permanent one.
Preparing for dental implant surgery
There are certain things that you can do before your dental implant surgery to help things go more smoothly. You may, for example want to prepare a few meals so that you don’t have to worry about what to eat during your healing period. They should be soft foods such as rice, stews and pastas. Get lots of smoothies in your fridge and make sure they are organic and nutritious – they will help with the healing process.
Make sure that you have someone to drive you to and from the hospital – the amnesia may linger and affect your ability to drive. If you suffer dental anxiety you can ask your dentist to prescribe you with a pill that can calm down your nerves – they pills are usually taken a few hours in advance of the surgery. Find out from your dentist how long you need to fast for – because you will be sedated it may not be a good idea to have a full stomach.
After the surgery
After your surgery you will need your rest in order to speed up recovery so make sure to have someone else take care of things for a week or two. You should avoid working out as this may unnecessarily strain your jaw. Eat foods that have plenty of vitamins – we have already mentioned smoothies. Don’t eat anything other than soft foods until you are cleared by your dentist.