If you have persistent trouble with your teeth or a missing tooth, leading to discomfort or difficulty with eating or a self-consciousness about your appearance, you might be weighing up the benefits of dental implants: an increasingly popular oral health treatment with impressive success rates. But is it right for you? We’ve collected together a few important points to note about dental implants: take a look, then speak to your dentist.
1 This is a bigger deal than a crown or dentures
If you lose a single tooth or have to have a tooth pulled, the traditional remedy – or, more accurately, disguise – is a crown, removable dentures or a bridge. This covers up the space where your tooth used to be, but only on the surface: there is no replacement for the roots of your old tooth.
A dental implant placement literally fills this gap: the implant is an artificial tooth root, made of titanium, which anchors to your jawbone to keep your crown, implant supported dentures or other prosthetic teeth in place.
2 Does your dentist think it’s right for you?
This is not something to rush into, and your dentist may not feel that you’re ready for it just yet: the first stage of the dental implant process is an examination, and a treatment plan, to figure out if the option of dental implants is the right one for you. Together, you and your dentist need to ensure that the ‘foundation’ of your mouth – that’s your adjacent teeth – are healthy enough for the dental implant procedure to be successful. Any infection or decay needs to be treated first.
3 It could involve more than one procedure
In simple cases, your dentist may be able to place the implants in a single surgical procedure, but this won’t be the case for everybody: depending on your number of missing teeth, you may need one procedure, followed by some time for the base implant to heal, followed by further action. Your dentist will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect when you discuss your treatment plan.
4 You may need a general anaesthetic
It is possible to put dental implants in place under a local anaesthetic, but if your procedure is more complex – if you’re having multiple implants, for example, or if you tend to experience a lot of anxiety around dental surgery – your dentist may prefer to use general anaesthesia.
5 If it’s right for you, it will be worth it
If a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth are making it hard for you to eat or preventing you from smiling for photos, dental implants could literally change your life. Dental implant treatment is a superior form of dental prosthetics both cosmetically and for your health: they look extremely ‘real’; they’re far easier to maintain than a bridge or dentures (eat whatever you want, and just brush as normal!) and will help protect your teeth and jaw for the future. And a healthy mouth means less risk of bad breath and better overall health!
6 The success rate is high
Studies suggest that in up to 95% of patients, dental implant surgery is successful. Of course, the best way to ensure that your own procedure will be successful is to contact an experienced dental specialist accredited by the Canadian Dental Association – call Prosthodontic Associates today!