Are you wondering if dental implants are right for you?
Click here to learn the truth about dental implants and decide if they’re right for your smile.
The global dental implants market is expected to reach a value of more than $6 billion – that’s AED 22 billion – by 2025. And that statistic is just one of many to show just how many people are getting dental implants across the globe. Even with this being such a common form of dental work, you might have questions about what it’s like getting dental implants.
As it turns out, there are lots of truths about this treatment — truths you may not know when your dentist suggests them to improve your oral health. Want to know everything about dental implants before agreeing to the procedure? We’ve got you covered.
Firstly, What is a Dental Implant?
You have probably been considering dental implants if you’ve lost teeth. Unfortunately, we can lose our teeth in a myriad of ways, even as adults. Whether you had an accident, gum disease, or tooth decay, you have a gap in your smile.
Luckily, dental implants are a sturdy and safe option for replacing your teeth. Your dentist will affix a titanium artificial tooth root into your jaw, providing a strong base for a replacement tooth.
Dental implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, and the cap that goes on top will look just like your natural teeth. As such, dental implants can re-complete your smile, but they do so much more than just provide you with a cosmetic treatment.
How Are Dental Implants Applied?
You may be ready for your dental implant appointment with just that information in mind, but this treatment is no easy fix. Getting a sturdy, high-quality tooth replacement in place can take several months. For some patients, the entire process can take a year and a half, depending on the preparative work required.
The process begins with a consultation, at which point your dentist will examine your teeth and jaw to ensure you’re a candidate for a dental implant. Most adults will pass this stage of the evaluation. Teenagers, however, may have to wait a little while longer until their facial bone structure settles into place.
2. Bone Grafting and Other Prep
The initial consultation will inform what happens next. Some patients will have had bone deterioration in the jaw beneath the area where they lost their tooth. If that’s the case, then a dental bone graft may be required, which will bolster the weakened area with either bone from another area of your body or a synthetic material.
Although bone grafting is the most common pre-surgery procedure for dental implant patients, there are other jobs that may have to be done before having the surgery. Your dentist may need to remove other decaying or abscessed teeth, too.
In some cases, patients need a sinus lift. In such a procedure, the sinus membranes in the upper jaw are moved to create more space in the jaw for bone grafting between the molars and premolars. As you can imagine, a periodontist or oral surgeon would perform such a procedure before handing you back to your dentist for implants.
3. Surgical Procedure
Once the bone graft is done — or, if you skipped that step — the next part of the process is the surgical procedure. You will be placed either under local anesthesia or full sedation at your dentist’s discretion. As such, you won’t feel any discomfort as they insert the titanium screw into your jaw, the base for your implant.
There’s a reason why your dentist does so many checks to ensure your jaw is strong enough before inserting your implants. After the procedure, your jaw begins to heal around the implant, fusing it in so that it stands sturdily in place. And this all requires your bone health to be at its finest.
It can take a few months before your jaw has healed around your implant. But once the screw is fused into place, it is ready to hold onto the tooth replacement, which will blend in seamlessly with your smile.
5. Tooth or Teeth Replacement
Your dental implant provides a strong base for several teeth-replacement options. You may get a crown, bridge, or even dentures put into place over your implant. No matter what, you can rest assured that your dentist will help you select a material and color that looks just like your natural teeth, completing your smile without any hint that you have replacement teeth.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
As with most dental treatments, having an implant put in is completely safe and low risk. The titanium screw used is biocompatible, meaning it’s a safe material to use in medical procedures.
The magic of the dental implant procedure relies on your body’s natural ability to heal. So, much of this process is completely natural and revolves around the jawbone and gums, which will fuse your implant into place.
What Are the Benefits of This Procedure?
You can probably guess a few of the good things that come with dental implants. For starters, the preparation process strengthens your jawbone, as we discussed previously.
Although having an imperfect smile is a cosmetic concern, the real issue is the space that appears in your jaw. Over time, the jaw bone beneath where your tooth once was will start to deteriorate. Having a dental implant put in can re-strengthen and secure the area, preventing bone loss, which is especially important as we age.
Because the dental implant fuses in with your healthy jawbone, it will feel incredibly sturdy. You might picture dentures or crowns as loose, obviously fake, uncomfortable replacements for your teeth. However, people with dental implants can chew and otherwise use their teeth as they do their natural ones.
Speaking of natural, your dentist will be sure to help you select a realistic-looking crown, bridge, or denture to go over your implant or implants. They will select a size and shape that fits right in with your teeth, and they will color-match the material so that your new implant isn’t a lot brighter than your natural smile.
Once you have your implants in place, you don’t have to do much in terms of upkeep. You just have to brush and floss them like you would your natural teeth.
And, with the proper upkeep, you can expect your dental implants to last you a lifetime. After all, a titanium rod fused into your jawbone is quite a strong addition to your smile.
Are There Any Cons?
There are so many wonderful reasons why you should get dental implants. Some people are wary of them, although the reasons why you would far outshine the reasons why you wouldn’t.
It’s important to keep in mind that the process of getting dental implants is a slow one. If you need bone grafting or a sinus lift, for example, it takes time to let those procedures heal — and provide the results necessary for you to have an implant placed.
Then, all patients will have to wait for the implants to heal and fuse into place after the procedure. This part of the process alone can take up to three months. In total, some patients have had to wait 12 months from consultation to prep work to surgery to healing to crown or bridge or denture.
If you’re in a rush to perfect your smile, then the waiting period might be a con. However, remember there aren’t really quick fixes in dentistry for missing teeth. This is the best way to get a lasting, natural-looking tooth to complete your smile. And, as we said before, it’s worth the wait, as your implants will likely last a lifetime.
You should also do some research into the cost of your implants, too. Everyone’s estimate will be different, of course, as one patient may require zero prep work while others will need grafting, sinus lifts, and tooth removals. Speak to a dentist for a quote, but do know that this entire process isn’t the cheapest in terms of dental care.
I’m Ready for Dental Implants
As you’ve probably figured out by now, the foreboding title of this blog was a bit misleading. The truth about dental implants isn’t anything sinister. It’s actually quite the opposite.
Dental implants are an incredible way to replace missing teeth, restore jaw strength and function, and improve your overall dental health for years to come. Your first step to achieving this, though, is to see a dentist who can map out your treatment plan. We’re here to help you with that.
Click here to contact us today if you live in Dubai and want to improve your oral health with implants. Our cosmetic dentistry includes implants and several other treatments to restore your smile — and give you a reason to use it, too.