When missing or having dented teeth, you have multiple replacement options like dentures, crowns, and bridges to restore teeth' aesthetics and functionality. Dental implants are the answer if you are searching for definitive restoration. The implants can replace teeth lost through decay, congenital disabilities, root canal botch, or gingiva disease. While there is no best replacement for missing natural teeth, dental implants are the best substitute. Highlighted below are the reasons implants are a popular tooth replacement option.

Reasons Dental Fixtures or Implants are a Popular Tooth Replacement Option

You could wonder why implants are a prevalent tooth replacement option compared to other procedures. Dental implants offer many benefits you should be aware of before considering the treatment. These benefits are:

  1. Implants are Durable

When properly cared for, implants are long-lasting and can serve for a duration ranging from 25 to 40 years without requiring replacement. With missing or decaying teeth, the right replacement option is dental implants because of their durability. This should not mean that other replacement options, like bridges, do not offer durability. They are durable, but dental fixtures are even more durable. If you are a patient undergoing an implant treatment procedure at 40, the restoration will last for a lifetime, with proper care, hygiene, and healthy oral habits. However, if the implant supports a crown, the associated dental crown will require replacement from time to time due to wear and tear.

You must understand that even though the initial cost of an implant procedure is higher than other restoration options, the treatment is more affordable in the long run. A person who undergoes a dental bridge treatment will spend more money within the 40 years your implants will last because they will require up to four procedures, as bridges only last for ten years.

  1. Implants are the Most Effective Replacement Options in Dentistry

Implants are highly successful in restoring missing or damaged teeth. The success of the treatment is attributed to over three decades of existence. Over this period, the treatment has been tested and proven. The success rate of an implant in the lower jaw in five years is 95%, while in the upper jaw is at 90%.

The other reason for the high success rate is that your dentist must examine your general oral health to determine if you are a candidate for the treatment. If you smoke, have low jawbone density, or have a weak immune system, the implants are likely to fail, which is why you will not be eligible for the treatment. Therefore, the only candidates for the treatment are those with good health, which explains the treatment's success.

Similarly, the advancement in dental technology and procedures over the years has elevated the success rate of implants. The more state-of-the-art technology used for the treatment and the more up-to-date your dentist is with the latest dentistry techniques, the higher the dental implant success rate. If you want the implants to last longer, you must observe post-treatment instructions and practice healthy oral habits.

  1. Implant Associated Crowns do not Develop Cavities

Another significant reason for the popularity of implants as a restoration option is that the associated crowns do not develop cavities. Implants replace the natural teeth roots with a titanium post or screw that attaches to the jawbone through osseointegration. Replacing the natural root with the titanium screw means the natural structure of the tooth susceptible to decay is removed, meaning there is no chance you will develop cavities.

On the other hand, your teeth will be susceptible to decay if you replace the missing or damaged tooth with a dental bridge. Bridges are anchored on the natural tooth root, which can be impacted by decay, leading to cavities.

Because cavities are not associated with dental implants does not mean you neglect the implanted teeth. It means cavities will not impact the durability of the dental implantation or the associated crown. Otherwise, you should care for and maintain the implant through healthy oral hygiene practices.

  1. Implants are Highly Adaptable

It is easier to replace a missing molar or premolar than to restore a damaged or missing incisor or canine. Incisors and canines are highly visible, primarily when you smile, which is why more emphasis is placed on the restorations' appeal and beauty during fabrication. Again, these front teeth are smaller and contracted than the molars, making it difficult to attach tooth replacements like bridges. Dental veneers are a perfect restoration for impaired incisors and canines.

Nevertheless, when dealing with missing front teeth, mini implants are the right restoration solution because they are half the size of the traditional implants and are perfect restoration for small front teeth. Besides, these implants are more pocket-friendly than their counterparts and only require a small submersion depth in the jaw.

  1. Implants Stand Alone

Another feature that makes implants popular is that they are a self-contained or stand-alone solution to your missing teeth. The titanium post is surgically implanted on the jawbone and allowed to fuse through osseointegration. A cap is then fixed on top of the screw to allow for the attachment of the crown. The procedure starts and ends in the gap left by the absent or extracted damaged tooth.

Other tooth replacement options, like bridges, are not self-contained because they rely on the adjacent teeth for anchorage. And for the adjacent teeth to provide proper support, the dentist removes part of the enamel to shape the teeth and allow them to attach to the bridges properly. A dental bridge treatment involves altering the natural structure of healthy teeth, which is unhealthy. However, with implants, you do not interfere with adjacent teeth, improving their aesthetics and durability.

Other benefits that make implants popular are that the restorations look natural and comfortable. After the procedure, the replaced tooth will feel and look natural, giving you the confidence you need to smile in public. Additionally, implants will allow you to chew your food effectively, enabling you to maintain a healthy diet.

Furthermore, implants do not interfere with adjacent teeth like bridges, so you preserve naturally healthy teeth. Again, implants lower bone resorption, reducing jawbone density and height loss, enabling you to maintain your natural facial and jawbone structure.

Even though implants are prevalent, it is wise to consult a dental expert to know if you are eligible for the treatment. You do not need to be afraid of parting with your hard-earned money for consultations. Many dentists offer a no-obligation consultation, which you should take advantage of and use to determine if you meet the criteria for a dental implant or whether an alternative tooth replacement solution is an improved fit for your oral needs.

Dental Implants Candidacy

When you have at least a single missing tooth, you are an eligible candidate for a dental implant. Your dentist will recommend you replace the missing tooth soonest possible because failure to do so will result in jawbone height and mass reduction, which can interfere with your facial features. Also, failure to replace missing teeth on time will result in an uneven bite. The teeth adjacent to the open socket left by the missing teeth begin to shift to fill the gap. When the adjacent teeth move, the teeth next to them also move, and the pattern continues. Because the lower and upper jaws are no longer aligned, the shifting causes an uneven bite. When this occurs, some teeth experience more pressure during chewing, causing discomfort and early tooth deterioration. When chewing causes pain, it is time to consider getting dental implants.

In a similar vein, if your jawbone has reached full development, you qualify for an implant procedure. The treatment is advised for adults because an adequately developed jawbone can support and accommodate the implant. Teenagers are discouraged from the treatment because their jawbones are not fully developed.

Again, implants are a perfect alternative when you are not comfortable wearing dental dentures because of their discomfort, slipping, clicking, and the fact that they can fall out while eating.

Additionally, certain medical conditions may impact your implant eligibility if they prevent osseointegration. Cancer, uncontrolled diabetes, and gum disease are a few conditions that can prevent the titanium posts from fusing to the jawbone, leading to implant failure. Additionally, because of slowed healing, treatment failure is more likely in cases of smoking or alcoholism. During a consultation, you should let your dentist know if you smoke or have any conditions that hurt osseointegration. The dentist will help you find an alternative treatment or address the disease before performing the surgery. Again, do not forget to mention any medication you are taking, especially immune-suppressant drugs.

Last but not least, the dentist should take an x-ray of the region surrounding the missing teeth so they can decide with certainty if you qualify.

It would help if you understood that only some dental patients are candidates for implants. If you are not, your dentist can explore other options like fixed bridges, resin-retained bridges, and removable dentures to replace missing teeth.

Dental Implant Treatment

When considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option, it is essential to comprehend the process.

Step number one involves a thorough evaluation of your oral condition. The assessment includes an x-ray, a visual examination, and a medical background review. The oral surgeon also measures your jawbone's height and density to see if they are suitable for supporting the implants.

Similarly, they will gather information on your overall health and whether you have allergies that could react to the anesthesia or dental material used in the treatment. If you are on medication, the dental surgeon will want to know the kind to determine whether they will affect the surgery.

If your immune system is weak, the dental professional will administer antibiotics before and after the treatment.

If it is a damaged tooth that you want to replace, your dentist will first extract the teeth. When your jawbone has a low density to anchor the implants, the dental professional will first perform a bone graft to strengthen the jawbone. A bone from another part of your body, usually the hip, is removed during a grafting procedure and attached to the jaw. If a natural bone is unavailable, the dental surgeon can use an artificial one.

The surgeon must wait a while after a bone graft procedure before inserting the implants. Once they are sure your jawbone is hard enough to support the implant, they surgically place the titanium screw on the jawbone on the open socket in the mouth. A dental surgeon must make a gum incision to expose the jawbone to put the screw. They then drill a hole in the jawbone to create room for the titanium screw. The screw is implanted in the jawbone to replace the natural tooth root. The dentist then closes the gums and places a provisional denture or crown.

The titanium screw and bone must fuse up to twelve weeks before the implant is prepared to support a permanent crown. The high success rate of the implants is attributed to the screw naturally fusing with the jawbone, providing the same anchorage as that of the natural tooth root. Additionally, the dentist will give you antibiotics to prevent infections that might hinder or prevent osseointegration during the healing process.

Once the implant fuses with the jawbone, you visit your oral surgeon to place the permanent crowns. The surgeon will reopen the gums and place an abutment or cap. They will then close the gums again but leave the upper part of the cap open for placement of the permanent crowns. You will then wait around 14 days for the cap or abutment to heal before returning for the last treatment step. The dentist will make an impression on your teeth to create permanent dental crowns while you wait for your gums to heal.

You have two options for your crown or artificial teeth, which are removable or fixed crowns. A removable crown is like a denture, consisting of a white crown surrounded by pink plastic gingivae. The teeth are then placed on the metal edge attached to the abutment and secured. Even after placement, you can remove these crowns for cleaning or repairs.

On the other hand, fixed restorations are permanently cemented or screwed on the abutment and cannot be removed for cleaning, repairs, or before going to bed.

Implant Aftercare

The outcome of an implant procedure can either be positive or negative. A positive outcome means the site heals according to plan. Even if the healing delays, it does not mean the treatment has failed. All you need is regular checkups from your dentist and steer clear of hard foods. It is normal to experience bruising on the gums or skin, pain, bleeding, and swelling, but if it persists, you must speak to a dentist.

When you visit the dentist, they administer pain prescriptions and antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections. The success rate of implants is high, so you will likely obtain a positive outcome. However, if the titanium screw fails to integrate with the jawbone adequately, you will receive a negative result, which means the treatment has failed. Whether you obtain a favorable or unfavorable outcome from the treatment, you should consult your dentist to assess your situation and know the way forward.

You can avoid failure of the procedure by keeping off habits like smoking or chewing hard foods that can damage the crown. Again, regular visits to the dentist for an oral exam can help the dentist track the healing progress. Observing oral hygiene by adhering to post-implant instructions by your dentist can also accelerate the healing process.

The healing duration after the procedure hinges on the gum’s health and the jawbone’s density. The steps that can aid the healing process are:

  • Obtaining enough rest days after the surgery
  • Biting on a gaze to prevent bleeding within a day of the oral surgery
  • Applying a cold wrapping on the face or affected jaw to lower inflammation
  • Eating soft foods like steamed vegetables, soups, or yogurt to escape impeding the healing process
  • Take pain medications when you experience pain
  • Steer clear of activities like contact sports which could cause pain in the surgery area
  • Keep off bad habits like smoking or alcoholism
  • Steer clear of hot beverages and foods as they can cause gum irritation
  • Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water
  • Rinse the affected area with saltwater to prevent infection
  • Observe healthy oral hygiene habits to keep off plaque or bacteria from your mouth
  • Adhere to all post-procedure instructions by your dentist

Find an Experienced Oral Surgeon Near Me

Deciding on the best tooth restoration choice can be tedious because you must weigh the merits, costs, risks, and complications for an informed choice. Dentists at Ganji Dental in Hawthorne, CA, recommend dental implants for missing or damaged teeth because of their high success rate, durability, adaptability, zero cavities, and stand-alone nature. If you are experiencing oral issues or want an implant procedure, do not hesitate to call us at 310-643-8045 for a free consultation.