Are you looking for a strong, durable and long-lasting tooth replacement option? If so, dental implants might be right for you. They can also give you back your smile and confidence. But what exactly are tooth implants, and how do they work? Let’s explore!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are made from titanium, which fuses with your jawbone to provide the foundation for replacement teeth. They can be custom-made to match the colour of your natural teeth and last longer if you take care of them properly.
What are the various types of tooth implants?
Endosteal implants – These implants are implanted into the bone. A support structure – a specialised screw or cylinder – is placed into the jaw bone and becomes part of its composition. Endosteal implants are a common way to replace one or more teeth as long as there is strong bone support in the jaw.
Subperiosteal implants – If you have been told you don’t have sufficient bone in your jaw to support an endosteal implant, a subperiosteal implant may be the solution for you. These implants use a metal frame that is custom-fit over the jawbone and beneath the gums. This metal frame uses posts to securely hold a dental prosthetic, such as a crown, denture, or dental bridge.
What are the materials used in dental implants?
The majority of dental implants have titanium posts and anchors because titanium is both lightweight and strong. Another common composite material used in implants is zirconium. This may be a good option for patients who are concerned about metal’s effects on their bodies, are allergic to metal, or have an autoimmune disorder. Titanium and zirconium are common choices for dental implants because they offer a combination of durability and the ability to fuse with the jawbone.
Most artificial teeth are designed from acrylic resin and porcelain to match the shape and colour of your natural teeth flawlessly. To achieve the most natural-looking results with your implant, your dentist will take photos and use colour guides for reference.
How is the dental implant procedure done?
There are three primary parts to the dental implant procedure. Every stage of the tooth implant process is key to a successful and enduring restoration. So, let’s investigate each step in more depth.
Consultation and planning
After you book a consultation with your dentist, they will assess your mouth and teeth to see if you’re eligible for dental implants. They’ll ask questions about your medical past and what results you want from the dental implant treatment.
At your dental implant consultation, your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and gums. They’ll also take X-rays and a 3D scan to find the best place for placement.
Dental implant surgery
Dental implant surgery is an uncomplicated surgical procedure that takes place under a local anaesthetic in a dentist’s office. The titanium dental implant is inserted under the gum into the jawbone. The process for each implant takes 1-2 hours.
One of the most crucial aspects of dental implant restoration is a process called osseointegration, where implants fuse to the jawbone. Within a few months, the implant will be ready to securely hold an artificial tooth.
Attaching the replacement tooth
The dentist will connect the artificial tooth in their office, which takes around an hour on average. This last stage of the process is done under a local anaesthetic.
Could I be a good fit for dental implants?
Below are a few qualifications that help you achieve your goal of a beautiful smile with implant technology.
1. You should not chew tobacco or smoke
Non-smokers or those who don’t chew tobacco make the best candidates for dental implants. Smokers have a higher risk of their dental implants failing because the chemicals in tobacco smoke and chewing tobacco can hinder the healing process.
Qualification for implants is still possible if you smoke; however, it is essential that smoking cease before, during and after the procedure to allow adequate healing. If you smoke and would like to stop, ask your dentist about resources that can help you quit for good.
2. You should have sufficient bone density in your jaw
An important factor in whether or not you can get dental implants is the density of your jawbone. This is because the implant will be placed in your jaw and needs enough bone to support it. So, if there isn’t sufficient bone density, then an implant may not be possible.
If you’re considering dental implants but don’t think you have enough bone to support them, a bone graft may be an option for you. A bone graft involves adding natural or synthetic bone material to the area where your missing tooth was in order to build up the existing bone enough to support a dental implant. After your jawbone has healed and recovered, you will be able to have implants without any issues.
3. You should be in good dental health
If you want dental implants, it’s important to have good oral health. In order for you to have a successful implant surgery, your smile must be free of tooth decay or gum disease. However, your dentist will also take into account any other health concerns you may have. If you have tooth decay or gum disease and are worried about your ability to get dental implants, don’t be. In most cases, these underlying issues can be corrected. To start the dental implant procedure, you need a healthy smile and approval from your dentist that you have enough jawbone density.
How to care for tooth implants?
Use sensitive cleaning products
In order to maintain your dental implants and keep them clean, it is advisable that you use sensitive cleaning products.
Abrasive products are harsh and can cause immense pain, so it’s best to steer clear of them. It’s generally best to avoid oral hygiene products with strong flavours like cinnamon or mint, as they can often produce an unpleasant feeling in your mouth.
Dental implants require consistent flossing to prevent other oral hygiene issues, such as plaque buildup around your implant sites. You shouldn’t have any problem keeping your dental implants clean since there are plenty of flosses made specifically for them.
Don’t eat sticky and hard foods
Sticky and hard foods can damage your dental implants and injure the teeth opposite them. There are a few foods you should stay away from after getting dental implants, like dried fruit, potato chips, caramel, hard candies, and crusty bread.
Use a soft-bristled nylon brush
Depending on your dental situation, you might have to switch toothbrushes after getting implants. Nylon toothbrushes are recommended for those with new dental implants because the bristles are pliable and gentle. In order to avoid damaging your implants, it is best to use toothbrushes with soft bristles. You only need to brush your teeth twice daily if you have implants. And you should avoid using metal objects to clean your mouth.
Visit your dentist regularly for a routine cleaning and checkup
Although dental implants can help you achieve a brighter smile, they are not a fix-all for poor oral care. You should schedule a dental appointment every six months, depending on your oral health. Dental implants may last your entire lifetime, provided you take care of them and see the dentist regularly.
Why should you get dental implants?
1. Dental implants enable you to eat and speak normally
If you have a missing tooth, it can be difficult to speak or eat properly. This is because your teeth no longer fit together correctly when you make certain sounds or bite down. Dental implants function like natural teeth, enabling you to eat and speak with ease.
2. Dental implants prevent your other teeth from moving
When you have a missing tooth, the surrounding teeth can begin to shift, affecting your smile and how well you chew.
If your surrounding teeth move, it will become more difficult to place dental implants in the future.
Dental implants not only improve your smile but also stop the healthy teeth around it from shifting.
3. Dental implants provide a natural look
Dental implants are designed to look just like your regular teeth in both colour and shape, so nobody will be able to tell that you’ve had dental work done.
4. Dental implants are simple to take care of
Dental implants require the same level of care as your natural teeth – just brush and floss as usual. You don’t need to buy any new products, either.
5. Dental implants are impervious to cavities
Since dental implants are not made of organic materials, tooth decay cannot affect them. An implant is unlike a living tooth in that it does not have any parts that can lose blood flow or catch food and erode enamel. It consists of metal, resin, porcelain, and plastic.
6. Dental implants are made to last for many years
Unlike other options, tooth implants can last forever with the proper care, making them a great option for your long-term oral health.
How much do dental implants cost on average?
Dental implants in Australia typically start from $3,000. Procedures like bone grafts or sinus lifts, in addition to dental implants, can add approximately an extra $6,000. The total dental implant cost varies depending on your dental needs and the complexity of the procedure.
Will my insurance cover the cost of a tooth implant?
Most people want tooth implants because they make them look better. However, insurance companies don’t cover this procedure because it is considered to be something that improves appearance rather than being medically necessary.
In some instances, your insurance company might help cover the cost of treatment if the implant is needed to support a prosthetic device. It is best to check with your dental insurance provider for more information.
How long after tooth implant surgery can you eat?
Eating directly after dental surgery is usually okay as long as you limit yourself to liquids. Your mouth and gums are especially tender following the surgery, so stick to liquid foods in order to reduce irritation. It’s important that you stay hydrated, but please drink through a straw to avoid any discomfort near your incision sites.
It’s best to prepare your postoperative liquid meals before the surgery or, if possible, have someone else make them for you while you recover. You will need to consume only liquids for 24 to 48 hours following your surgery.
What should you eat after dental implant surgery?
Following your surgery, it’s advisable that you consume soft foods and avoid chewing whenever possible for several weeks. Below are some ideas for foods that you can eat during the recovery period that will not require chewing. Not only are these options easy to eat, but they’re also packed with vitamins and minerals that will help you recover more quickly.
- Cottage cheese
- Cooked vegetables
- Pureed meats
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Meal replacement shakes
When can you resume chewing after dental implants?
Foods that are crunchy or chewy should be avoided during your dental implant surgery recovery.
After your mouth has healed, you can start consuming foods that are easy to chew, such as soft bread, tender meats, and cooked pasta.
Because dental implant surgery is unique to each individual, be sure to ask your doctor how long you should eat soft foods.
Usually, dentists tell patients to wait around two weeks before they try chewing food after surgery.
Get quality dental implants at Killara Dental
Are you considering dental implants? Losing teeth doesn’t have to be the end of your smile. Dental implants can give you a chance to have your pearly whites back. At Killara Dental, we provide high-quality and budget-friendly implant solutions. Whether you need a full set of implants or just a few, we will work with you to create an implant that suits all of your needs.
Call us at (02) 9100 0831 to book your consultation.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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