If you are in good health, don’t smoke, and have the jawbone density to adequately support dental implants, you are a good candidate for either partial or full mouth restoration with dental implants at a local dentistry.
Dental Implants What to Expect
According to Dr. Singh, despite rare failures, “dental implants are still the gold-standard for replacing natural teeth.” With proper care and maintenance and a healthy lifestyle, your implants can last many years.
Says Dr. Singh, “It’s critical that you choose a trained and experienced dentist and discuss any dental and medical history prior to beginning your procedure to ensure higher success rates.”
Implant crowns are almost, but not quite as strong as regular teeth
Implant dentures do not provide the full sensitivity and total strength of natural permanent teeth. They can break under the extreme lateral stress of, say, trying to tear and chew a piece of tough meat jerky.
However, the overall dental implant failure rates (i.e., the implant coming out or not holding the denture properly) are low and “there are no “absolute contraindications to implant placement.” In the rare event of a broken or detached implant crown, your dentist can repair the crown during an office visit.
What to Expect After Dental Implant Surgery
To ensure the success of the implant, you must give your dentist a complete medical and dental history. Based on a complete dental examination and overall evaluation of your health, your dentist could recommend implant surgery as a permanent solution to replacing missing teeth.
The examination includes the latest digital imaging technology. Your dentist reduces your x-ray exposure time by about 50%. Digital imaging can provide a quick analysis of the ability of your bone to accommodate a dental implant post.
1. The dentist connects a titanium implant to your jawbone. The implant, over a period of about three to six months, fuses to the surrounding bone.
2. Once the implant is firmly in place, the dentist connects an abutment, which will function together with the implant as a solid anchor for the final step—attaching the crown.
3. The dentist attaches the crown. The crown is the visible artificial tooth created and fitted especially for the patient, based on impressions taken of the teeth and modeling of the mouth. The crown or multiple crowns are now anchored firmly enabling you to chew your food more thoroughly, with resulting benefits in your overall digestion.
You may have seen ads that promise implants “in just one day.” However, while the surgery to position the implants is done in one sitting, you should be willing to commit to a waiting period to allow the implant to integrate fully in place.
The wait is worth it. Implants have an over 90 percent success rate and can serve you for many years—often for the rest of the patient’s life.
Dental Implant Surgery
Implants rarely fail
Writing for the American Academy of Implant Dentistry’s Life Smiles webpage, Dr. Vinni K. Singh, lists three main (but rare) reasons dental implant failures can occur, as well as how to prevent them:
1. Lack of osseointegration
Osseointegration is the medical term for the above-mentioned process of integrating the implant to the bone structure. An implant can fail because there either wasn’t enough bone around the implant to support it, or the bone deteriorated after the implant as a result of gum disease.
2. Involuntary or parafunctional habits
Excessive stress on implants through habitual grinding or clenching the teeth can destroy previously healthy bone and cause implant failure. To prevent implant failure, your dentist might recommend that you practice stress reduction/sleep improvement techniques or recommend using a bite place or night guard.
3. Gum disease related to implants—peri-implantitis.
The same bacteria that attacked your healthy teeth can undermine your implant. Those bacteria must be removed through normal oral hygiene practices—flossing, brushing, and a water irrigator.
Also, if you are in poor health and your ability to fight infection has been compromised, you could develop implant problems. Those problems can be worsened through drug and alcohol use, as well as smoking or chewing tobacco.
So, a good oral hygiene routine, refraining from alcohol and tobacco use, and, most importantly, regular visits to your dentist will prevent implant failure. During those visits, the dentist can perform deep cleaning and implant maintenance that will prevent peri-implantitis.
How Dental implants can change your life
Your confidence will improve.
A better-looking smile will bring increased confidence when interacting with your family, friends, and colleagues at work. You will no longer press your lips together when someone takes a photo and says, “Say cheese!”
Your digestive health will improve.
You will also begin to be able to chew your food more completely and eat more healthily. You no longer have to rely on your front incisors (meant for tearing and biting) to do double duty during mealtime. Your digestive health will improve.
You will no longer grind your teeth.
Your new implants will be perfectly aligned with your existing teeth (or each other in the case of complete tooth replacement). Unless you suffer from the previously mentioned involuntary parafunctional habits, you will no longer awaken in the middle of the night with a sore jaw caused by bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching caused by, among other things, misalignment of teeth).
If you are considering dental implants, a dentist can guide you through the process before, during, and after your surgery. Hopefully this has helped ease your mind and get a better understanding of what to expect.