Dental implants are man-made tooth roots that are usually made from titanium screws and that we at DiMeo Family Dental place in a patient’s jaw to act as anchor points for artificial teeth. People generally assume that they only serve a cosmetic function to replace missing teeth, and for convenience since the fixture will be permanent and will do away with retainers and dentures. In reality dental implants serve more purposes than just that.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Firstly, they act as structural anchor points for oral structures such as bridges or crowns. With anchor points such as these, one could affix a single crown of their choosing, a multiple tooth fixed bridge, a full arch bridge where the jaw’s entire set of teeth are replaced with a single set of fixed bridges or an anchor point for dentures. These crowns or bridges can be made from base metals or high-quality zirconia-based ceramics based on choice and budget.
They also serve as a reinforcement for the patient’s jaw structure, since missing teeth will weaken the bone structure, will expose gums, sensitive nerve endings, and blood vessels, and will cause soft and hard tissue to collapse around the empty tooth socket. This ultimately makes both soft and hard tissues of the jaw warp and change shape, further complicating the patient’s oral health.
Dental implants also improve the quality of life since with the permanent fixture of the implants, the patient can use much more strength to chew and bite their food. The ability to speak normally is also restored.
Steps to Getting Dental Implants
A prerequisite for receiving implants is to have healthy gums and a sound bone foundation for implants to be inserted into. Alongside a thorough oral evaluation, you can also expect to have an x-ray scan to assess your jaw’s bone structure.
Next, you will have the area to receive the implant prepared by sterilization and local anesthetics applied. Our dentist will make an opening into the gums which will then be used to expose the bone structure underneath. We will then use a small-sized drill bit to make a small hole into your bone at high speed to avoid pressure necrosis there. The pilot hole will then be drilled bigger by progressively larger drill bits at slower speeds to achieve the final diameter suitable to have your dental implant screwed in.
Afterwards, the tissue around the implant will be allowed to heal so it can help bond it stronger and tighter to the implant. This can take anywhere between 3-6 months. In the meantime, the implant will be protected by a cover screw or a healing abutment depending on the patient’s preference and our dentist’s recommendation. The artificial teeth whether it be crown, bridge, or dentures will be prepared for attachment to the implant. Afterwards, the artificial teeth will then be attached to the implants. One should return regularly to maintain oral hygiene and let us monitor your implants carefully to ward off any problems or infections to your dental implants.
If you wish to find out more about dental implants, and have a consultation on their suitability for your oral health problems, feel free to ask when you next book an appointment with us. Call us, DiMeo Family Dental at (772) 362-9555 today!