Even though dental treatments have improved significantly over the past few decades, many people will still lose teeth. Tooth loss is largely down to dental diseases like gum disease and tooth decay, or loss can be caused by trauma. Up until fairly recently, the only real options for replacing missing teeth were to use dentures or to have a fixed dental bridge. Nowadays it is becoming much more common to choose dental implants. This treatment is the most advanced and the most long-lasting way to replace one or more teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
A natural tooth has quite a long tooth root extending into the jawbone. This helps to hold the tooth firmly in place. Dental implants are generally in three parts, consisting of an implant post, the abutment and the implant teeth.
A dental implant closely replicates a natural tooth root, consisting of an implant post or screw. This is inserted into your jawbone during a small surgical procedure. Once in place, the implant needs time to heal or Osseo integrate with the bone surrounding it, where it will bond with the bone. An implant post is often specially treated to help encourage new bone to grow on and around the post. After Osseo integration is complete, the post will feel strong and stable, essentially becoming part of your jawbone. By this stage it is ready for the second stage of treatment, which involves attaching another implant component called an abutment.
Attaching the Abutment to an Implant
The abutment is attached to the post and this protrudes above the gums, looking almost like a small stubby tooth. This will support your new implant teeth. There are many different abutments and the exact type attached to your implant post will depend on the replacement teeth prescribed by your dentist.
Your Dental Implant Teeth
A dental implant can support a single dental crown while multiple dental implants can support a fixed bridge or removable replacement teeth called implant supported dentures. Implant dentures clip onto the abutments or onto a special bar attached to the dental implants. You can take out implant dentures for easy cleaning. Crowns and bridges can be cemented or screwed in place and can only be removed by a dentist. All of these replacement teeth will be fixed firmly in position, restoring your smile and your confidence, and your ability to eat. These are conventional dental implants, consisting of a post, abutment and replacement tooth, but there is another type of implant called a mini dental implant.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants have a narrower diameter compared to conventional dental implants. They are often used to support implant dentures or where there is insufficient room for a traditional dental implant. For example, mini dental implants can be useful for restoring the lower incisors where space is tight.
Mini Dental Implants are Quicker to Insert
The procedure to insert these mini dental implants is quicker and less invasive compared to traditional dental implants. This is because the implant post is inserted right through the gum and into the jawbone, eliminating the need for stitches so healing is faster. The implant post and abutment is one solid unit, so the overall dental implant cost is cheaper. Mini dental implants are best used in specific situations and are just one possible solution for tooth loss. To find out more about other options, just book your consultation with our dentist here at Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry.
Who Should Consider Dental Implants?
If you have lost one or more teeth then it’s worth finding out if implants are for you, simply because they can last for many years or for life. Dental implant treatment tends to cost a little more initially, but over the course of a lifetime it can prove to be a cost-effective solution for tooth loss This is before you take into account the advantages of treatment. Dental implants can look and feel amazing, restoring self-confidence and self-esteem.
Are Dental Implants Suitable for Everybody?
Anybody who has reasonable dental health and who is generally healthy will almost certainly be able to benefit from this treatment. Age isn’t a barrier, provided your teeth and jaws have finished growing and developing, as we wouldn’t suggest this treatment for anyone under the age of 18. It’s also important to have healthy gums and a healthy jawbone to support the dental implants. People with dental implants must be committed to good oral care that includes regular dental visits and cleanings and good oral hygiene.
Health Conditions and Lifestyle Factors Can Affect the Success of Treatment
People who are heavy smokers or who have medical problems affecting their immune system will need to be thoroughly evaluated for dental implants. Generally it’s better to quit smoking completely as this affects the body’s ability to heal and can increase the risk of implant failure. People with an impaired immune system, for example diabetics, may still be able to have dental implants. This does depend on their diabetes being well-controlled.
If you are unsure about your suitability for dental implants, why not visit us here at Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry for a proper evaluation? We will only recommend this treatment if we feel it’s a great choice for you.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
There are lots of different advantages of dental implants and which include:
• Improved comfort, particularly for anybody with loose dentures
• Better appearance, as al our implant teeth are especially designed to look and feel just like your own teeth
• Being able to speak clearly, as poorly fitting dentures can often cause people to mumble or slur their words
• Better self-esteem, because losing even a single tooth can knock your self-confidence but replacing it with a dental implant will help restore your smile
• Better dental health as dental implants don’t require other teeth to be modified for support
• Being able to eat just about anything you want, something that is often impossible with multiple missing teeth or uncomfortable loose dentures
• Added convenience, as dental implants make it easy to forget you ever lost teeth
• A long-term solution for tooth loss as with the proper care dental implants should last for many years or we hope for life
Preserving Your Jawbone
There’s another huge advantage of this treatment in that it helps to preserve the jawbone. After natural teeth are removed, the jawbone begins to resorb, with old bone cells no longer being renewed. The ridge that used to support your teeth will gradually become flatter and narrower. This is the reason why full dentures tend to fit badly after just a few years. A dental implant post closely replicates a natural tooth root, helping to prevent this bone loss. If you are considering dental implants, it’s best to have this treatment as soon as possible after tooth loss to help preserve your jawbone. Dental implants also provide the proper support for your cheeks and lips. They can help rejuvenate the appearance of someone with multiple missing teeth and whose facial features have that sunken in look.
What Are the Success Rates of Dental Implants?
When properly planned and looked after, dental implant treatment can have a success rate of 95%, or higher. This does depend on several factors including the experience of the implant dentist, the dental health of the implant patient and their dedication to ongoing dental care. As with any type of dental treatment, the proper dental care will improve the success and longevity of the procedure.
Is Dental Implant Cost Covered under Insurance?
Generally, the cost of dental implants isn’t covered by dental insurance but it’s well worth talking to your provider to find out if at least part of the cost may be reimbursed. This can depend on your coverage and the reason for tooth loss.
What Is Involved with the Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implants need to be properly planned so you will need several visits to our dental practice. Your initial visit is your chance to discuss treatment with our dentist and to find out if you are suitable for a tooth implant. The dentist will need to examine your jaws and can talk to you about the process involved.
Will I Need X-Rays?
If you wish to go ahead, they will need to take x-rays and a CT scan to assess your jawbone in greater detail. These diagnostic images show the amount of bone available for your implant teeth and whether any additional procedures will be required such as a bone graft. If you do need more bone added to fully support your implant, then please don’t worry. Bone grafting is very straightforward and may be carried out as an additional procedure, or even during surgery to insert the implant. The dentist will discuss the type of replacement teeth to be used, as for example, you may want denture implants, or a tooth bridge or tooth crown to restore your missing teeth.
Planning Your Dental Implant
This planning process is carried out behind-the-scenes using your diagnostic images to determine exactly where each implant should be placed. It is vital for an implant dentist to know the position of all nerves and blood vessels in your jaw so these can be avoided during surgery. Computer guided implant surgery is a process where a surgical template is made prior to implant insertion. The template guides the implant dentist to insert the implants in exactly the right position, helping to eliminate errors while ensuring your surgery is quicker and smoother.
Your Implant Surgery
A single dental implant can be inserted in as little as an hour by your dentist or an oral surgeon, with multiple implant teeth taking a bit longer. The actual surgery will depend on the number of dental implants, and whether you need to have any teeth removed or any bone added during this surgery. Most people are surprised to find implant surgery is more comfortable than expected and additional sedation can always be used where multiple implants are needed and where surgery will take a bit longer.
Once anesthesia wears off then you may feel some mild discomfort that should be easily controllable with over-the-counter painkillers, or if necessary we can provide you with a prescription. It’s not uncommon to feel no side-effects whatsoever, especially when just a single implant has been inserted. You may need to stick to eating soft foods that require less chewing for the first few days, but we can give you lots of detailed advice on how to care for the implant site. Generally, most people will be well enough to go back to work the next day.
We know people fear being left without teeth and want to reassure you that will not happen. At the very least you will receive temporary teeth to wear while your implants heal and with some treatments it is possible to fit the implants with new teeth soon after surgery. This is frequently the case for implant supported dentures or for treatments replacing complete arches of teeth. The denture or full-arch bridge is made beforehand and positioned soon after surgery.This restoration helps to hold the implants firmly in place so they cannot move, which is essential during healing. If you only need a single tooth, a temporary tooth can be fitted over the dental implant,
but will be purely for cosmetic purposes as it cannot really be used for biting or chewing food. We can discuss your tooth replacement during your initial consultation.
Once healing is complete, your implant teeth can be made. Detailed impressions will be taken of your mouth and are sent to our dental laboratory so your new teeth can be made to our exact prescription. Every implant tooth is custom-designed, closely replicating a natural tooth in form and function. Single implant teeth, particularly a front tooth implant can look particularly amazing, emerging from your gums just like a real tooth. After fitting, your new teeth should feel like your own.
We take every precaution to make sure dental implant surgery proceeds smoothly and without error. However,there may be some possible side effects, for example, if an implant is inserted too close to a nerve it may result in some temporary numbness. It is rare for implant treatment to fail, but there is a condition similar to gum disease called peri-implantitis. This can develop months or even years after treatment and is generally due to poor oral hygiene.
It’s essential to look after your implant teeth but this isn’t very difficult. Crowns and bridges can be brushed and flossed just like real teeth, while implant dentures will need to be removed for regular cleaning. It’s vital to clean all the way around the dental implants to remove plaque and food and to prevent infection. Don’t forget to come and see us for regular checkups and cleanings as this will help maintain your beautiful new teeth.
If you are facing tooth loss or have already lost one or more teeth then why delay any longer? A consultation with us here at Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry will allow you to ask all the questions you have about dental implant treatment and to find out much more about all its advantages. Imagine being able to eat whatever you want and being able to smile and socialize knowing your teeth look great. Don’t you deserve the best?
Avery’s Creek Family Dentistry serves Avery’s Creek, Arden, Ashville, Oak Park, Fletcher, Royal Pines, Biltmore Park, Biltmore Forest, Bent Creek, Fairview, Beaverdam, Candler, Naples, Mills River, Enka Village, Woodside Hills and the Buncombe County area.#AvlBiz #wavl #asheville #arden #averyscreek #dentist #dentists #dental #asheville #ashevillenc #avl #dentistry #dentalcrown #crown #OakPark #Fletcher #RoyalPines #BiltmorePark #BentCreek #Fairview #Beaverdam #Candler #BiltmoreForest #Naples #MillsRiver #EnkaVillage #Candler #WoodsideHills #Buncombe