Gum disease, if left untreated, often results in tooth loss, leaving many patients to wonder if they can get dental implants. Even gum disease patients who do not develop the advanced form of the disease, known as periodontitis, may want to replace missing or decayed teeth with implants. Is this possible, or will unhealthy gums…
Get New Teeth with Dental Implants
A new smile awaits when you get dental implants. Even in the most severe cases, this treatment can transform your mouth and help you to have its full function once more. You can also feel good about your appearance and stop avoiding social situations again. Implants are a good option if you have lost one tooth or are missing multiple teeth. If you are curious about this process or have concerns about it, you can learn more and be prepared to get started.
The effects of missing teeth
Teeth are made of the strongest materials in the body and are meant to last a lifetime. However, tooth loss is not uncommon in adolescents and adults. Whether from accidents or poor oral hygiene, teeth can fall out or become so severely damaged that they require extraction. There are both cosmetic and oral health implications when teeth are missing.
Gaps in the mouth can make it difficult for the person to chew effectively and enjoy a healthy diet. Tooth loss can also cause nearby existing teeth to drift, become loose, and fall out. Bone loss can also take place. With tooth and bone loss, the shape of the person’s face can change, affecting speech and appearance. People who lose teeth can feel self-conscious and embarrassed.
Consultation and examination
Before starting the process of getting dental implants, the dentist determines whether the patient is a good candidate for the treatment. The dentist will take X-rays and impressions of the mouth. There will also be a discussion about the process and what the benefits and challenges are with the procedure. During this visit, the dentist will check to see whether there is good bone growth. If the person has bone loss, regeneration through a graft may be necessary.
The first surgery
If the person has healthy bone, the dentist starts by implanting titanium posts in the jaw. These are screw-like devices that act as the roots for the dental implants. The dentist first numbs the patient and then makes an incision in the gums. After inserting the posts, the dentist closes the wound and then allows healing to occur over the next few months.
The next step
The posts and bone must fuse properly before moving to the next stage of the process. The person’s gums must also heal from the initial surgery. When this takes place, the person comes back into the office. The dentist opens the gums again, exposing the tops of the posts. The dentist attaches smaller pieces, called abutments, to the posts. The patient spends the next several weeks or few months healing some more.
Lastly, the dentist puts crowns on the abutments. The crowns look like real teeth in size, shape, and color. The dental implants are strong and durable, enabling the person to enjoy a normal diet. Implants should last for up to 20 years if the person is diligent about maintenance and care.
Consider dental implants to improve your smile
You should not have to hide your face any longer, even if you are missing multiple teeth. Thanks to implants, you can enjoy a new look and improved health. The process can be long, but the effects are worth the effort. Make an appointment with your dentist today so you can get started.
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