Dental Implant Procedure: All There Is to Know About It

Tooth problems can make talking or smiling and eating stressful or create significant health issues for you. Fortunately, several dental procedures are available today to correct many tooth issues. Dental implants are some of the most common procedures done by dentists. The procedure is done primarily to replace missing teeth, which could be a result of an accident, gum disease, severe tooth decay, aging, etc. It involves inserting an 'implant' (a replacement tooth root) into your jawbone to act as an anchor (root) for the artificial replacement tooth. If you are missing a tooth or teeth and you're considering replacement options, dental implants are a procedure to give thought to. But before you head to the dentist, here is a thing or two worth knowing about the procedure.

Why Should You Opt for Dental Implants?

For a long time, many people have considered dentures as the option for replacing missing teeth. These are removable prosthetic devices that serve as tooth replacements. However, dental implants have become popular for many reasons. First, they result in improved comfort, appearance and speech. Dental implants are designed to fuse with your jawbone. As such, they become permanent and feel like your own teeth, eliminating any discomfort that tends to be experienced with poor-fitting removable dentures. For instance, poor-fitting dentures can result in the teeth slipping in your mouth, causing you to slur your words or mumble when talking. Eating with dental implants is also much easier compared to removable dentures because they are permanent. Therefore, you don't have to worry about them sliding and making chewing difficult.

Are There Different Types of Dental Implants?

Generally, two types of dental implant procedures are used to replace missing teeth: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal procedures are the most common. They involve inserting the dental implants into the jawbone. The implants have a screw-like shape and they are usually made of titanium. If you don't have a naturally healthy jawbone, your dentist may recommend subperiosteal implants instead. With this procedure, the implants are inserted under your gum instead of the jawbone. While subperiosteal implants will still work to replace your missing teeth, they usually come with less stability because of the lack of a jawbone to offer maximum support. And for this reason, you may want to think about undergoing procedures such as bone augmentation, sinus lift and ridge expansion that help rebuild your jawbone to offer a sturdy foundation for the implants.

What About Healing Time and Surgery Risks?

Healing time will vary from patient to patient and it can be anywhere from weeks to months. And in most cases, the quality of your jawbone will play a significant role in determining how fast you heal. Regarding risks, this procedure is generally safe, and risks are usually minimal and will also vary across patients. Proper hygiene is, however, crucial when it comes to risks as well as healing. Therefore, maintain proper oral hygiene including brushing regularly.

For more information about dental implants, contact a dentist in your area.