Having a hole in your smile is not only embarrassing or unsightly, it also impacts the function of your mouth. It’s much easier to eat and speak with a full set of teeth. In the past, dentures or bridges were the go-to solutions for missing teeth. Not anymore! Dental implants provide a secure and permanent way to restore your smile.
A dental implant is a titanium rod that creates an artificial tooth root in the location that yours is missing. It is surgically implanted into your jaw so that as it heals, it fuses with your jawbone and becomes a permanent part of your body. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium rod to give you back a fully functional and attractive tooth.
Dental implants offer many advantages to patients:
- No impact to neighboring teeth
- Attractive and natural
- Feels like a real tooth
- Prevents migration of teeth
Implants are installed using local anesthesia, so you will not experience pain during the procedure. Minor swelling may occur afterwards, and any pain can usually be treated with over-the-counter products. Risks are low with dental implants, and long-term results are successful in most cases. Good oral care is important in maintaining your implants, but is no different than your regular brushing and flossing routine. Regular checkups with your dentist will help ensure that your implant remains in your smile forever.
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Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.
Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.
There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?
Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.
If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.
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It’s more common that you might think for adults to lose one or more teeth due to injury or oral diseases. Missing teeth can make chewing and speaking difficult, not to mention lowering a person’s self esteem. That’s why it’s smart to ask your dentist about tooth replacement options, to see if one of them might be right for you.
When artificial tooth roots are inserted into your jaw to replace lost teeth, it’s called dental implants. It involves surgically placing a metal post into the bone under your gums. Then a crown is attached to the post, creating a natural-looking replacement tooth. Dental implants do not affect adjacent teeth, and they look and feel like natural teeth. They are also more secure than other tooth replacement options. However, to be considered for dental implants, you must be healthy overall, have a secure and strong jawbone, and have healthy gums.
Also called a fixed partial denture, the purpose of a dental bridge is to “bridge” or close the gap between your missing tooth or teeth and your surrounding teeth. Your dentist bonds the bridge onto the teeth adjacent to your gap. This is called a fixed bridge. There are also removable bridges, which you are able to remove, clean, and replace yourself. Another type of dental bridge is called an implant bridge, which attaches to a dental implant. The various types of dental bridge are made from materials like gold, alloys, and porcelain.
When you need a tooth replacement option for all or most of your teeth, dentures may be the best choice. Complete dentures are used when you have no teeth left, or the remaining teeth must be removed. These cover both your upper and lower gums. Overdentures are removable and may be used if you have some natural teeth remaining, or have dental implants. These are only an option if your remaining teeth or implants can provide enough support for the overdentures.
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To improve the success of your dental implant surgery, there are a few guidelines you can follow during your recovery process. Diet is one of the most important factors to consider to ensure your implants heal properly.
Initially, you should not eat or drink hot foods for 24 hours after surgery as the heat could open the wound and cause an increase in bleeding. Avoid foods that may cause trauma to the gums or disrupt the implant, including the following:
- Hard foods such as candies, pretzels, nuts, and crunchy vegetables
- Chewy foods that require more than a couple of rounds of chewing such as rolls, gummies, hard fruit, and gum
- Foods that could stick in teeth or leave particles behind such as popcorn, seeds, and chips
- Foods or drinks that contain citric acid, such as oranges or grapefruit
A soft diet is recommended for approximately two weeks after implant surgery to allow the gum tissue to heal. It is especially important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, although you should strictly avoid the use of a straw for at least 48 hours post-surgery. Suggestions of ideal food and drinks after implant surgery would be:
- Cooked cereals such as cream of wheat or oatmeal
- Scrambled eggs
- Cottage cheese
- Broth, bouillon, or soups
- Ground beef, baked or broiled fish, or baked or stewed chicken
- Macaroni and cheese
- Baked or mashed potatoes
- Soft bread
- Puddings, milkshakes or ice cream
- Water, milk, coffee or tea
Patients who maintain a healthy diet of soft foods feel better and heal faster after dental implant surgery. Following these guidelines will help to ensure the quickest and most successful recovery from your implant surgery.
Contact our Baltimore dental office today to learn more about dental implants options.
Preserving the bone in your jaw and face is of utmost importance to your cosmetic dentist, and as such, treatments that preserve bone are preferred over those that lead to bone shrinkage, known as resorption.
Dental implants preserve bone by mimicking the tooth’s natural roots, stimulating and preserving the bone. As part of the healing process following surgical placement, the jawbone fuses directly to the implant. Most often made of titanium, dental implants provide a very stable foundation for a replacement tooth. This foundation is so stable that it can serve as an anchor point for dental bridgework and will feel, look, and function as your natural tooth would.
The process of implant to bone fusion is known as “osseointegration.” Fusion is primarily dependent upon the quality of bone surrounding the implant, and can be achieved in three to nine months following dental implant treatment. Excessive smoking or drinking can stunt the healing process and lead to complications.
Because bone resorption is prevented with dental implants, your facial structure will not collapse and your facial shape will not change. Missing teeth that are replaced by implants avoid other problems commonly associated with tooth loss, including other teeth shifting into the open spaces created by the missing teeth, and functional problems with the jaw joints and bite alignment.
Once a tooth is extracted or falls out, a great deal of the bone in the area will shrink, or resorb over the coming year. Shrinkage occurs in a horizontal as well as vertical dimension. Most resorption occurs within the first two to three months following tooth loss. When a cosmetic dentist replaces that tooth immediately with a titanium dental implant, the bone fuses around the implant, significantly reducing bone shrinkage.
Dental implants are the only restorative treatment that preserves and maintains bone. Dentures and partial dentures can accelerate the process of bone shrinkage as a result of pressure on the underlying mouth structures as you talk or eat.
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Are you missing one or more teeth? Dental implants are among the best possible solutions for patients missing teeth. Dental bridges and dentures can fill the gaps left by acute decay or gingivitis, but dental implants have many advantages over these other techniques.
Dental implants are typically made of titanium and serve as an artificial root for a missing tooth. They are fused directly to the jawbone and become an excellent foundation for replacement teeth. They are the best possible substitute for a natural tooth that a dentist can provide.
Dental implant therapy has several benefits, among them:
- Dental implants are very convenient. Bridges necessitate cleaning carefully under and surrounding the bridged tooth, and dentures need to be removed and specially cleaned and can utilize messy adhesives to affix them to your mouth. Dental implants are cleaned exactly as you would clean your natural tooth. Brush and floss normally. There is no slippage or cleaning beneath or between the replacement tooth, which is permanently attached to the gum via the dental implant, which fuses to the bone in a process known as ossification.
- Dental implants look better than other replacement teeth. They are intended to appear and function as your natural tooth would.
- Because they’re fused to your bone, they are more secure than dentures or bridges that can slip in the oral cavity, causing pain, muddled speech and problems eating or drinking. Dental implants are incapable of slippage, leaving you to lead your life with confidence and security.
- Dental implants preserve bone by stimulating the bone in your jaw, something necessary for the health of the bone. Without this stimulation, the bone can begin to shrink.
- Dental implants are very durable and can last for decades, if not for a lifetime, when cared for properly.
- Because dental implants don’t require any alterations to the surrounding teeth, those natural teeth are able to remain intact, lending to your overall good oral health.
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