Why dental implants?
If you avoid smiling or eating in public because your denture may slip or a space left by a missing tooth may show, dental implants may be an option for you.
Implant patients come from all ages and backgrounds. Some can no longer wear removable dentures; others don't want to. Whatever your particular circumstances, dental implants can provide a sense of security and well-being that can't be matched.
Is there more than one type of implant?
Dental implants are artificial substitutes for natural tooth roots. They act as an anchor for a false tooth or a set of false teeth. There are two basic categories of implants: those that are placed into the bone and those that rest on top of the bone.
An Endosteal implant is placed directly into the bone, like natural tooth roots, and may be used for many purposes.
A Subperiosteal implant is used when the bone has atrophied and jaw structure is limited. The lightweight, individually-designed metal framework fits over the remaining bone.
The amount and location of the available bone and whether new bone can be created determine the kind of implant that is best to use.
What advantages do implants have?
Stable dental implants and their replacement teeth can enhance the quality of life. Implants can help the patient who has lost teeth and desires a crown or bridge rather than an insecure removable replacement. For most patients, their appearance, comfort, speech and ability to chew and enjoy food are greatly improved.
Do these procedures cause any pain?
During the surgical procedures required for implant insertion, the anesthesia given during surgery blocks any pain or discomfort. Postoperatively, medication for pain or swelling and to prevent infections are usually prescribed to ease any discomfort.
Will people know that I have implants?
Not unless you tell them. However, most patients tell everyone they know that they have dental implants.
Are there patients who should not have dental implants?
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo routine dental extractions or oral surgery can be considered for an implant procedure. Patients suffering from uncontrolled chronic diseases or systemic problems or behaviors and heavy smokers may not be good candidates for implants.
Will my implant teeth work as well as natural teeth?
While nothing works as well as a full set of healthy natural teeth, implants provide the next best thing. Generally, patients are not aware they even have implants after the short healing period. The implant replacement teeth look, feel, and function in a manner that allows people to forget they have implants.
Will implants last a lifetime?
Few things last forever. Every case depends on the individual patient. Generally, the current overall dental health of the patient and the condition of the bone structure remaining in the jaws are important factors in determining long term success rates. Of course, everyone needs regular visits to their dentists, and this is particularly important for implant patients.