Over the years, there has been a considerable increase in the number of people who are using dental implants. The increase in the demand for dental implants can get attributed to several factors. For instance, a survey carried out by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) in the United States revealed that more than 30 million people had lost teeth in either or both jaws.
The study by AAMOS also found out that 26 percent of individuals aged over 75 years do not have teeth and that 69 percent of people in the age bracket of 35-45 years lack one tooth. Further, the study noted that 500,000 people go through dental implant surgery every year.
Based on the above information, this article provides eight crucial facts that you should know about dental implants
- The meaning of dental implants and dental implant surgery
Dental implants are artificial structures that are useful in replacing missing tooth roots. In short, dental implants are frames that are inserted under the gums to act as a strong base for placing permanent (fixed) or removable replacement teeth.
The structures are from appropriate metals such as titanium (which is durable and lightweight). They are placed into the jawbone and left to blend with the bone over a given number of months. It is after the implant has fused with the jawbone that a replacement tooth or bridge can get mounted in the space of the missing tooth.
Dental implant surgery is the procedure through which a dental implant gets fitted into a patient’s jawbone. The process involves replacing a damaged tooth root with a metallic screw-like post that then is useful in holding the replacement tooth. If you would like to fix more than one tooth, your dentist will have to perform a surgery that involves inserting several implants to match the number of replacement teeth that you require.
- Dental implants have numerous benefits
Some of the benefits of dental implants are listed below:
- Feel and function: Dental implants feel and function like your natural teeth. That is because they help to fuse with your jawbone, which makes them permanent. Once the implants have fused with your jawbone, they do not interfere with the way you eat, speak, or smile.
- Improve oral health. When fitting dental implants, your dentist doesn’t need to reduce your other teeth, as is the case with tooth-supported bridges. Given that adjacent teeth are not adjusted to support the implant, your other teeth get left intact, which promotes long-term oral health. It is also easier to clean your teeth when individual implants get inserted. Further, dental implants don’t get cavities.
- Durability: Dental implants are almost 100 percent as sturdy as your original teeth. Therefore, once they get inserted, you don’t have to worry about your bridges or replacement teeth becoming loose. Implants are to last a lifetime if they get the proper care.
- Improved appearance and self-esteem: Dental implants can help you get your smile back and feel better and more confident about yourself.
- How you need to prepare for dental implants to get inserted.
When planning to have dental implants inserted, you may have to meet several specialists. These include a maxillofacial and oral surgeon, a periodontist, and a prosthodontist. A maxillofacial and oral surgeon deals with the conditions of the jaw, mouth, and face. A periodontist deals with gums and bones while a prosthodontist deals in designing and fitting artificial teeth. You may also need the services of an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist.
Since dental implants necessitate several surgical procedures, you must undergo a detailed evaluation as part of the preparation for the process. The review must comprehensive an in-depth dental exam, an assessment of your medical history, and a treatment plan.
- What you should expect when going for a dental implant
The dental implant surgery involves several outpatient processes performed in stages, with some time allowed between them for healing. The crucial processes involved include:
- Removal of the damaged tooth or teeth
- Preparation of the jawbone
- Placement of the implant
- Growth of bone and healing
- Placement of abutment
- Choosing and fitting of an artificial tooth or teeth
The whole process can take several months. Also, some steps may be combined depending on your specific condition.
- What to expect after a dental implant surgery
Whether your dental implant surgery gets done in one stage or several stages, you are likely to experience some of the common discomforts that are associated with any dental surgical procedure. These discomforts include:
- Slight bleeding
- Inflammation of your gums and face
- Bruising of the gums and skin
- Pain at the site where the implant gets fitted
As a result of the above discomforts, you may need antibiotics or analgesics after dental implant surgery. If discomfort, swelling, or any other problem increases some days after surgery, you should contact your dentist.
- Dental implant surgery has a high success rate
Although dental implant surgery is associated with some discomforts, the success rate of the procedure is up to 98 percent if proper care gets provided. To enhance the success rate of dental implants, you should adopt the usual good oral hygiene practices that are required when caring for natural teeth. Such methods include brushing, flossing, use of an appropriate mouthwash, and regular visits to your dentist.
- You can reduce the cost of dental implants with dental tourism
The cost of dental implant surgery can be high, but you can cut it with dental tourism. Dental Tourism means traveling abroad to get dental care services. If you go to a country that has a lesser cost of living, you will get high-quality dental services at a lower price. That is because the costs of various services in any nation usually gets pegged on the cost of living.
- Risks associated with dental implant surgery
Most dental implant procedures are successful. However, there may be risks such as infection at the site where the implant gets fitted, damage, or injury to the surrounding structures, nerve damage, and sinus problems. If you experience severe pain soon after an implant gets inserted, you should see your dentist within 36 hours.
Dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth, but they are associated with some risks. To increase the success rate of a dental implant, you should let a qualified dentist and other physicians attend to you before, during, and after the procedure. You should also maintain good oral hygiene practices after the dental procedure.