Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jaw to anchor a bridge or replacement tooth. If you’ve lost one or more teeth because of an injury, tooth decay or periodontal disease, you’re likely a candidate for dental implants.
Types of Dental Implants
There are several types of dental implants available. Endosteal or in-bone implants are the most common type of dental implant. There are a few forms of endosteal implants, including cylinders, screws, and blades that are placed into the jawbone via a surgical procedure. Every implant holds one or several synthetic teeth. Endosteal implants are usually best for individuals who have removable dentures or bridges.
On-the-bone or subperiosteal implants are a possible option as well. These implants are placed on the top of the jaw using a metal framework that comes through the gums to hold the prosthetic teeth in place. Subperiosteal implants are ideal for patients who don’t have much bone height or can’t wear standard dentures.
What Makes You a Great Candidate?
To be a viable candidate for dental implants, you should have good oral health and be in good overall health. The dentist will also check to ensure that you have enough bone in the jaw for supporting the implants. To increase the chances of implant success, the dentist will also ensure that your gum tissue is healthy and test your mouth to make sure you don’t have periodontal disease. If issues are detected, it’s best to take care of gum and tooth disease before implants can be installed.
Dental implants are connected with the tissues in the gum and underlying bone. You’ll have to meet with a periodontist since these are the dental experts who will work with the other members of your dental team to ensure you have implants that look natural and are comfortable. If you’ve been looking for a way to get an attractive smile, implants could be the way to go.
What the Process Is Like
The dental implant procedure is a team effort; you, your periodontist and your dentist are the players. The periodontist and dentist will meet with you to determine how and where your implants will be placed. Depending on the implant and specifications you’ve chosen, your dental team will create a customized treatment plan for you.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Even when you’re caring for your own teeth, you’ll have to adopt a regimen that includes brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. You’ll have to care for implants in much the same way you take care of your natural teeth. Your implants have to be clean and free of plaque at all times, so make sure you’re still brushing and flossing twice a day.
After your implant treatment, the periodontist will work with you and the dentist to develop the plan that will work best for you. Be sure to keep up with your follow-up visits to monitor the condition of your implants, gums, and teeth to ensure they are in great condition. Ask your dentist about insurance coverage or the services you choose.