If you miss one or several teeth and are considering replacement solutions, you may hear the dentist provide dental implants, the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. However, your specific situation can leave you confused about whether you are a candidate for dental implants or must look at alternatives suitable for you.
If you have just one missing tooth, you can consider single tooth implants surgically embedded deep into your gums and into your jawbone. The titanium implant is a screw-shaped device that bonds with your jaw permanently, providing an artificial tooth root. After the healing period, the dentist attaches one custom-made dental crown over the implant to give you your new and natural-looking artificial tooth.
Embedding of the dental implant proceeds after an evaluation of your mouth and entire physical health. Beginning the procedure, the dentist numbs your mouth with anesthesia after cleaning it and makes a small incision in your gum. Next, a dental drill helps the dentist drill deep into your jawbone to embed the implant and leave it there to integrate with your jawbone in approximately 6 to 9 months.
You can return home after the dentist places the implant but must revisit the dentist for checkups frequently. Eventually, the dentist takes images and impressions of your teeth to have fabricated one or more dental crowns specifically for your mouth.
After you have healed completely, revisit the dentist for one last time; your dental crown is permanently attached to your dental implant to restore your smile.
However, if you have lost several teeth in your mouth, single tooth implants are not suitable for you, making you look for alternative procedures.
If you have multiple missing teeth in one Arch, single tooth dental implants are impractical for your situation. In such cases, the dentist you consult recommends full Arch dental implants as a suitable measure with information that any remaining teeth in your mouth need extraction before undergoing the entire arch implantation procedure.
If you accept the dentist’s suggestion to have a complete arch implant, the procedure for the placement is similar to single-tooth implants. First, your mouth undergoes cleaning, and you receive adequate anesthesia to numb your mouth. The dentist places a series of four to six implants in each arch of your mouth.
The dentist also attaches a set of temporary dentures to the implants advising you to take precautions when chewing with the teeth to prevent damaging your implants. Recovering from the initial procedure requires a few weeks, but recovering entirely from the surgery requires 6 to 9 months to ensure your implants have integrated with your jawbone.
During the recovery, you must revisit the dentist near you to assess your progress. Simultaneously the dentist begins creating your permanent set of removable or fixed implant dentures.
Your permanent dentures are attached to your teeth during your last appointment with the dentist after the healing of your mouth is over.
If you have one missing tooth, you can undoubtedly consider single tooth dental implants as suitable replacements for them. However, suppose multiple teeth are missing from your mouth. In that case, you must consider alternatives like a complete arch dental implant, enabling you to have all your teeth in a single arch replaced by merely four to six dental implants.
Whether you have a single tooth replaced or replacements for an entire arch caring for dental implants isn’t challenging and merely requires excellent dental hygiene with brushing twice daily, flossing at least once, and visiting your dentist for frequent checkups. You must pay specific attention to brushing and flossing, ensuring that you never allow plaque buildup to remain on your teeth. Plaque, the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay, is a primary reason for implant failure. Therefore it is incredibly essential for you to follow your dentist’s instructions and keep your dental health in optimal shape to enjoy your natural-looking artificial teeth for your lifetime.
Suppose you are apprehensive about the kind of care you must provide for your dental implants. In that case, it helps to discuss your concerns with your dentist, who will happily provide the information you need and demonstrations to ensure you succeed with implant placements.