Missing teeth can impact your ability to chew thoroughly, speak clearly, and smile confidently. Although there are many options to replace your teeth, including dentures and bridges, dental implants continue to grow in popularity. They are easy to maintain, aesthetically pleasing, and durable 一 but what do you need to know before you commit to them?
Here are the top five things you need to consider when you're considering dental implants, courtesy of Dr. Ana Chester and the Chester Family Dentistry team in Warren, Ohio.
What you should know about dental implants
Dental implants are a type of restoration that is permanently implanted into your jaw bone. The implant is made of a biocompatible titanium rod that isn’t removable, but can be attached to crowns or bridges. This makes for a restoration that is easy to brush and maintain. Dental implants can be a great option to replace missing teeth, but they aren’t right for everyone. When you’re considering an implant, you should consider these five things:
1. The number of teeth you need to replace
Dental implants can replace a single tooth, but they can also replace a full arch of teeth. When you’re considering dental implants, this is one of the most critical pieces of your treatment plan as this can shape the types of prosthetic devices you receive. For example, if you want to replace a single missing tooth, you will receive a titanium post that serves as your tooth roots, an abutment (connecting piece), and a crown that serves as a prosthetic tooth.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to replace multiple teeth, you have more options, including:
- Implant-supported dentures
- Implant-supported bridges
To further customize your options, implants can support fixed dentures and removable ones. Regardless of how many teeth you must replace and which type of appliance (e.g., bridge or denture, etc.) you want, dental implants still deliver comfortable and convenient solutions for replacing teeth.
2. The health of your jaw bone
In addition to considering how many teeth you need to replace, you may need to consider additional treatments. For example, if you don’t have enough jaw bone to support your implant, you may need a bone graft prior to the implant rod placement.
To assess your bone health (to make sure osseointegration has the best chance of success), Dr. Chester performs an examination and reviews diagnostic imaging. Though bone grafts can help, it may add to your recovery timeline, so it remains an important factor to consider when you’re thinking about implants.
3. The recovery timeline
Another important aspect to keep in mind is the recovery timeline. Dental implants aren’t a quick process. Once your implant post is implanted, it can take a few months for the process of osseointegration to take place.
4. The contraindications
Although dental implants are a popular restoration choice, they aren’t right for everyone, so it’s important to review contraindications for dental implants. For instance, if you smoke or chew tobacco, implants may not be the right solution since smoking can reduce the success of osseointegration and delay wound healing. Uncontrolled diabetes can also compromise the success of your implant.
5. All the benefits
Last, but certainly not least, consider all of the benefits of dental implants. Dental implants:
- Are strong and durable
- Are aesthetically pleasing
- Preserve your jaw bone and prevent jaw bone atrophy
- Preserve facial structure and integrity
- Improve the functionality of your mouth
To learn more about dental implants or to schedule a consultation, call Chester Family Dentistry at 330-331-9026.