A dental implant is recognized as being an endosseous implant or fixture; and it is a surgical implant that borders the bone of the jaw or skull to support such dental prosthesis as a crown, bridge, or denture. Osseointegration is the biological procedure that is the foundation for modern day dental implants. This process uses materials such as titanium to create a close bond to the jaw bone.
The procedure for dental implants is an involved process; which begins with allowing the fixture to osseointegrate. It can take an inconsistent amount of time for this process to be completed prior to the dental prosthetic being connected to the implant or abutment. The success of this treatment is based primarily on the original health of the patient, the drugs administered to increase chances of osseointegration, and the health of the tissues within the patient’s mouth.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
There are several advantages to dental implants which include the following:
- Because dental implants are fused to the jawbone and become permanent, they look and feel like your natural teeth. Therefore, giving the person an overall improved appearance and increase in self-confidence.
- When a person wears dentures they can slip and cause the person wearing them to slur their speech and appear as though they are mumbling. With dental implants this worry about slipping dentures is removed and the person can talk with an improvement to their speech.
- Wearing dentures are very uncomfortable; dental implants become a part of your mouth and removed this feeling of discomfort.
- Trying to eat with dentures is very difficult due their constantly sliding out of place. With dental implants there is no sliding, therefore, making it easier and more natural to eat again.
- Having dental implants gives the person a renewed sense of self-esteem, and confidence every time they smile.
- There is no need to alter any of the other teeth surrounding the dental implant as other dental prosthetics such as bridges require. Therefore, an overall increased oral hygiene and health is created.
- Dental implants are very durable—if cared for properly can last a person’s lifetime.
- Dental implants remove the inconvenience of having to remove dentures, and the messiness of applying adhesives to keep them in place.
Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?
Generally, if a patient is healthy enough to undergo oral surgery or a routine tooth extraction, they can be considered a dental implant candidate. The primary requirement is healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw line to efficient fuse the implant. The patient must show a commitment to oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Patients who are heavy smokers, or suffer from uncontrolled chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, or undergoing radiation therapy in the head/neck areas must be individually evaluated on a case by case basis.
If dental implants are something you are considering for the future of your oral health, schedule an appointment with your dental professional to discuss if you are a candidate for this procedure.