Are missing teeth getting in the way of you and a winning smile? Whether you need one or more teeth replaced, dental implants are an effective, safe and permanent solution for restoring your smile.
Missing teeth can not only affect your smile and confidence, they can also affect your speech, muscle tone and face shape, your ability to chew and your overall health. If missing teeth are not replaced, they can also affect the alignment of your remaining teeth.
Whether gum disease, trauma or issues with your health are the culprit for your loss of teeth, dental implants can bring back your brilliant smile and give you a new lease on life.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants replace the root of missing teeth. Metal posts become your new tooth root and are surgically inserted into your mouth. Implants can be placed into or above your jawbone. When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are a popular choice providing a safe, secure and long-term solution.
Once your implant is carefully positioned, your dentist can mount replacement teeth, crowns, or fix bridges to them. Dental implants look and feel natural, and if cared for properly, can last you a lifetime.
Dental implants are usually applied in two stages. If your dentist has recommended a traditional dental implant, your gum will firstly be cut open to expose your jawbone. The implant is then drilled into and implanted into your jawbone. The second stage, once your gums have healed, is when your artificial tooth, crown or bridge is mounted or fixed. Once your gums heal, your implant will become securely fastened in your jawbone.
Different types of dental implants
There are two key types of dental implants. Which one you choose, or which one your dentist recommends, depends on the size of your jawbone.
1. Endosteal implants
When you visualise a dental implant, you’re most likely thinking of what is called an endosteal implant. Endosteal implants are the most commonly used implant. They are shaped like screws and placed into your jawbone for a secure fix. They are used when your jaw is wide and dense.
2. Subperiosteal implants
If you have a shallow jawbone, your dentist will recommend a subperiosteal implant. This means your dental implant will be placed under your gum but above the jawbone. Once your gums heal post-surgery, your implant will become secure and as long-lasting as an endosteal implant.
Standard dental implants
Dental implants can be used for single or multiple tooth replacement. A single tooth replacement uses one implant that supports a single artificial tooth. If you have more than one tooth that needs replacing, you will need additional implants, or larger implants to support your replacement teeth. If you have a small space between your teeth, don’t worry. Mini or micro implants use smaller screws to replace teeth.
If your smile gets you down due to missing, broken, crooked, stained or unhealthy teeth, you can replace your entire mouth full of teeth with dental implants. Some patients choose to replace either the upper jaw of teeth, the lower jaw, or the entire mouth. If you are considering major restoration, consult your dentist for the best advice.
When multiple teeth are missing, bridgework may be required. Fixed bridges do not rely on the support of your remaining teeth like standard bridges. Dental implants are responsible for supporting the bridgework.
When you think of dentures, you think of the false teeth your grandmother used to keep in a glass of water beside her bed, right? These days, dentures can be implant-supported to provide a more permanent and secure fix. Implant-supported dentures use special attachments to reduce movement.
When you choose implant-supported dentures, there is no need to remove and clean your dentures or worry about losing, dropping or breaking them. Implant-supported dentures are secure, comfortable, feel natural and will not irritate your gums or cause gum and bone damage, like traditional dentures sometimes can. Dentures can be made to closely resemble your original smile or can be designed to improve your smile.
You will be a candidate for implant-supported dentures if you have enough bone in your jaw to support implants.
Temporary dental implants
If your mouth, gum and bone need time to heal before a permanent dental implant is attached, a temporary implant can be used. A temporary implant can give back your confidence, while your mouth is healing. Temporary dental implants are ideal for dental emergencies and teeth lost during trauma.
Why use dental implants?
When you have missing, broken or damaged teeth, it can be a huge knock to your confidence, not to mention placing you at risk of nasty side effects for your remaining teeth and your overall health. Dental implants can restore your smile, bring back your confidence and keep your oral health in tip-top condition.
Without a full set of teeth, you run the risk of losing face shape and muscle tone. It can affect your speech, your ability to chew and can also cause your remaining teeth to become misaligned.
If you lose teeth due to gum disease or ill health, you should contact your dentist immediately to treat the situation and nip the problem in the bud before it’s too late. Likewise, teeth lost due to trauma should be addressed immediately.
Are dental implants right for me?
To be a candidate for dental implants, you must have healthy gums and sufficient bone to support an implant. If you don’t have sufficient bone, a subperiosteal implant could be used, or you may require a bone graft. Your dental professional will provide you with a thorough examination of your teeth and advise on the best course of action for bringing back a healthy smile.
Caring for your dental implants
Dental implants look, feel and function like real teeth and should be cared for like real teeth. Dental implants are permanent, strong, secure and hassle-free, but this doesn’t mean you can neglect them.
Dental implants are permanent if you care for them properly. Treat your implants as you would your real teeth and practice good oral hygiene:
– brushing twice daily
– floss daily
– avoid chewy and sugary foods
– limit citrus fruits
– limit tea, coffee, wine and soft drink
– quit smoking
– visit your dentist for regular check-ups.
Book a consultation with Australia Dental today to discuss the right dental implants for you.