From the name itself, a dental implant already sounds like an intimidating dental treatment. However, under the right conditions and with the help of a professional dental care expert, receiving dental implants need not be a scary experience. To help you learn more about this procedure, listed below are some of the most commonly asked questions involving these implants.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium rod or frame that is placed directly into your jawbone. As the procedure requires penetrating directly into your jawbone, surgery and anesthesia are naturally involved in the procedure.
Once in place, the titanium rods allows your dentist to mount a bridge or replacement teeth onto your gums. Unlike dentures or porcelain crowns, a dental implant will not as easily come loose.
What are the requirements for a dental implant?
There are certain conditions that must be met before a patient is considered fit for a dental implant. A professional from a centre for advanced dentistry will likely first examine your gums and jaw to ensure that they will be able to support the implant.
Patients with jaw bones that are too soft or thin will require a bone graft first before the implant can be put in. Conversely, the facial structure of the patient might also prevent him or her from getting a dental implant. For instance, if the distance between the sinuses and the jaw is too small, the patient will need to get a sinus lift prior to getting the actual implant on the jaw.
What are the benefits of a dental implant?
Again, since dental implants are surgically fused onto your jawbone, they can provide a more stable foundation for any artificial replacement teeth. This aspect of the procedure is particularly beneficial during eating and speaking since you will not have to feel anxiety about any dentures suddenly falling out of your mouth.
Another advantage of a dental implant is the fact that it feels much more natural inside the mouth. It is more comfortable than bridges or dentures and is less likely to result in sore spots or to cause gagging.
What are the aftercare procedures for a dental implant?
Like any smile makeover procedure, its long term success will depend on the care that you will provide after you leave the dentists chair. Particularly since a dental implant specifically involves your mouth and your jaw, you must be more meticulous with your oral hygiene. Remember to brush and floss daily and use additional interdental brushes or an oral irrigator to clean those hard to reach areas around the implant.
If you are a smoker, it is highly advised that you quit smoking after the procedure. Smoking can weaken your bones and compromise the implant. Likewise, you should avoid hard food items such as candy or nuts since these can break both your natural teeth and the artificial crowns.
Lastly, visit your dentist at least twice a year so that you can get a thorough check-up and cleaning. Implants can be extremely expensive to acquire, but the upkeep is relatively simple. As long as you follow and perform these tips religiously, you will be able to enjoy your implants for a very long time.