Dental Implants: What You Should Know to Regain Your Quality of Life

Living with severely damaged or missing teeth can have a big impact on the way a person looks and feels. Along with making normal activities harder, like eating and speaking, a damaged smile can affect your self-esteem, oral health, and overall well-being. Fortunately, the experienced dental team at Pure Dentistry offers several restorative dental procedures that can quickly enhance the appearance, function, and comfort of your smile, including dental implants. Here’s what you should know about how dental implants Brisbane by Pure Dentistry could benefit you before scheduling your implant consultation with our implantologist.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a missing tooth’s root. They are usually made of titanium and are surgically inserted directly into a patient’s jaw bone to provide a strong foundation for a permanent dental restoration, rather than a removable one, such as bridges or dentures. Dental implants are recommended by a patient’s dentist for several reasons, such as severe tooth decay, fracture, or trauma.

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What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants can help patients struggling with damaged or missing teeth regain their quality of life by restoring the natural appearance, comfort, and function of their smile. Dental implants can benefit a person’s life in many ways, including:

  • Improving One’s Appearance: Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth, so no one will know they aren’t.
  • Eating and Speaking Easily: Because dental implants don’t come out of your mouth, you can talk and chew without having to worry about them shifting or falling out.
  • Permanent: Dental implants are designed to fuse with your jaw bone, meaning they won’t have to be removed or replaced as other restorations would.
  • Durable: Dental implants are solid. Dental implants can last a lifetime without needing to be replaced if you practice good oral hygiene habits.
  • Comfortable: Dental implants become a part of your mouth by fusing with your jaw bone and feel as normal as your natural teeth would, which means they’ll never have to be resized or adjusted like traditional dentures.
  • Convenient: You’ll never have to remove your dental implants to clean them, saving you time, effort, and embarrassment.
  • Improved Oral Health: Dental implants do not require having work done on surrounding teeth and make practising good oral hygiene more straightforward, which is good for your long-term health.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implants aren’t a viable option for every person with a missing or damaged tooth. Along with having healthy teeth and gums, the most crucial factor when considering getting dental implants for you is your jaw bone’s condition. A patient must have an adequate amount of surrounding jaw bone to support the dental implant. If you don’t have enough jaw structure to sustain an implant, don’t worry. For most patients, it’s possible to rebuild your jaw bone through additional dental procedures, such as ridge expansion, bone augmentation, or a sinus lift. It’s also critical that the patient’s jaw is finished developing before installing a dental implant, which means they aren’t suitable for children or teenagers whose facial structures are still growing. For young children with missing teeth, read about space maintainers by Brisbane Kids dentist Dr Soha Sharif.

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Types of Dental Implants

There are two main types of dental implants:

  • Endosteal: These are made of metal, such as titanium, and shaped like a screw inserted directly into the patient’s jaw bone. They are the most common type of dental implant and are preferred for their secure, permanent structure that helps them look and feel natural.
  • Subperiosteal: This type of implant is typically used in patients who do not have enough jaw bone to support an endosteal implant and cannot undergo a bone augmentation for some reason. Rather than being inserted into the bone, subperiosteal is placed under the patient’s gumline but above (or on) their jawbone.

Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect

Having a titanium post inserted into your jaw bone may sound daunting. Still, dental implant surgery is a standard procedure that the experienced team at Pure Dentistry is very familiar with and well-equipped to handle. We are committed to making the dental implant procedure as straightforward, comfortable, and convenient as possible for each of our patients.

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your dental implant surgery.

First, the dentist will create a personalized treatment plan to address your mouth’s specific needs based on a comprehensive dental exam and a review of your medical history. Most dental implant surgeries are outpatient procedures, which means you’ll be able to go home soon after your surgery. Before your treatment begins, the dentist will administer local or general anesthesia based on your needs to ensure that you are completely numb and comfortable throughout the entire process.

Once you are anesthetized, the dentist will remove any remaining parts of your damaged tooth. Next, he will insert the titanium rod into your jaw bone, which will then heal and grow around it for the next six to twelve weeks. You will likely be uncomfortable after the surgery and can take over-the-counter medication if needed. For most patients, this discomfort subsides after a few days. In some circumstances, the dentist will provide you with a temporary bridge to make eating and speaking more comfortable until your dental implant treatment is complete. The dentist will also give you an antibacterial rinse to keep the area clean. While your gums heal, it’s essential to avoid spitting, using a straw, and smoking to prevent damage and infection.

After your gums heal and your jaw bone has fused to the implant, a second surgery will be required to install a small connector post known as an abutment which holds your new tooth in place. Once your new tooth, known as a dental crown (see Brisbane City Dentist website), has been fabricated from precise impressions of your teeth and bite, the dental crown will be attached to the abutment that is anchored on top of the titanium root installed in your jaw bone. The dentist will be sure to match the colour, shape, and size of the replacement tooth to your remaining teeth for a natural, comfortable result.

After your dental implant and crown have been successfully installed, it’s essential to care for it like your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and visiting the dentist every six months for routine exams will help your dental implant stay strong for a lifetime.

Dental Implants vs. Bridges and Dentures

While dental implants are a standard solution for missing teeth, they aren’t the only ones. Bridgework and dentures are also recommended to patients with missing or damaged teeth. Weighing the pros and cons of each can help you, and your dentist determines which restorative dental treatment would be the best for you.

Bridgework (Dental Bridges)

A dental bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace one or more missing teeth. Depending on where the bridge is located, it can be made of several materials, including gold, metal, or porcelain, and is adhered to surrounding natural or artificial teeth to stay in place.

  • Pros: Some patients love bridges for their natural appearance, their ability to restore the function and comfort of their mouths when they eat and speak, as well as preventing adjacent teeth from shifting into the open space left from a missing tooth.
  • Cons: Bridges have several disadvantages, including causing potential harm to the surrounding abutment teeth, being prone to tooth decay if not cleaned thoroughly, and their need to be replaced over time or when they break.

Dentures

Dentures are a removable replacement for missing teeth. They come in two forms: partial and complete. Complete dentures are used to replace all of a person’s missing teeth, while partial dentures replace some missing teeth while some natural teeth remain.

  • Pros: Dentures can help a person suffering from missing teeth regain their quality of life by restoring the appearance of their natural teeth and helping them perform routine daily activities with comfort, such as eating and speaking.
  • Cons: While dentures are made to resemble a person’s natural teeth closely, they sometimes don’t look as natural as a person would hope. Likewise, they may not fit properly when you first get them, which can cause discomfort or unsightly shifting. They must also be cleaned regularly and be adhered to with specialized glue, which can be inconvenient.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The cost of your dental implant treatment will depend on your dental insurance plan. While dental implants may initially be more expensive than other dental restorations, such as bridgework and dentures, they typically save people money in the long run since they can help improve your overall oral health and won’t need replacement if they’re properly cared for. For more information on what your dental insurance policy covers, please contact our office.

You don’t have to live with the pain and embarrassment that comes with a damaged smile any longer. Contact the trusted team at Mt Gravatt Dentists Pure Dentistry today to schedule an appointment to learn more about how dental implants could help you regain your quality of life with a beautiful, healthy new smile!