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 implant market is expected to reach a value of over $6 billion – that’s AED 22 billion – by 2025. And this statistic is just one of many to show how many people are getting dental implants across the world. Even though it’s such a common form of dental work, you might have some questions about what it’s like to have dental implants.
It turns out that this treatment contains many truths – truths that you may not know when your dentist suggests them to improve your oral health. Do you want to know everything about dental implants before accepting the procedure? We have what you need.
First of all, what is a dental implant?
You have probably considered dental implants if you have lost teeth. Unfortunately, we can lose our teeth in many ways, even in adulthood. Whether you’ve had an accident, gum disease or tooth decay, you have a blank smile.
Fortunately, dental implants are a solid and safe option for replacing your teeth. Your dentist will fix an artificial titanium tooth root into your jawbone, providing a solid foundation for a replacement tooth.
Dental implants can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth, and the cap that sits on top will look like your natural teeth. As such, dental implants can complement your smile, but they do more than just provide you with a cosmetic treatment.
How are dental implants applied?
You may be ready for your dental implant appointment with this information in mind, but this treatment is not an easy solution. The placement of a solid, high-quality tooth replacement can take several months. For some patients, the whole process can take a year and a half, depending on the preparatory work required.
The process begins with a consultation, during which your dentist will examine your teeth and jawbone to make sure you are a candidate for a dental implant. Most adults will pass this stage of the assessment. Teenagers, however, may have to wait a little longer for their facial bone structure to settle.
2. Bone graft and other preparation
The initial consultation will inform what happens next. Some patients will have had bone deterioration in the jawbone below the area where they lost their tooth. If so, then a dental bone graft may be necessary, which will reinforce the weakened area with bone from another area of your body or a synthetic material.
Although bone grafting is the most common preoperative procedure for patients with dental implants, other tasks may need to be performed prior to surgery. Your dentist may also need to remove other decayed or abscessed teeth.
In some cases, patients need a sinus lift. In such a procedure, the sinus membranes of the upper jaw are moved to create more space in the jawbone 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 over to your dentist for implants.
3. Surgical procedure
Once the bone graft is complete – or, if you skipped this step – the next step in the process is surgery. You will be placed either under local anesthesia or completely sedated at the discretion of your dentist. As such, you won’t feel any discomfort as they insert the titanium screw into your jawbone, the base of your implant.
There’s a reason your dentist does so many checks to make sure your jawbone is strong enough before inserting your implants. After the procedure, your jawbone begins to heal around the implant, fusing it together so it stays securely in place. And all of this requires your bone health to be at its best.
It may take a few months for your jawbone to heal around your implant. But once the screw is fused in place, it’s ready to hold the tooth replacement, which will blend seamlessly with your smile.
5. Tooth or tooth replacement
Your dental implant provides a solid foundation for several tooth replacement options. You can get a crown, bridge, or even dentures placed over your implant. Either way, you can rest assured that your dentist will help you choose a material and color that resembles your natural teeth, complementing your smile without any indication that you have replacement teeth.
Are dental implants safe?
As with most dental treatments, implant placement is completely safe and low risk. The titanium screw used is biocompatible, meaning it is 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 advantages of this procedure?
You can probably guess some of the good things that come with dental implants. For starters, the preparation process strengthens your jawline, as we discussed earlier.
While having an imperfect smile is a cosmetic concern, the real problem is the gap that appears in your jawline. Over time, the jaw bone under where your tooth used to be will begin to deteriorate. Placing a dental implant can strengthen and secure the area, preventing bone loss, which is especially important as you age.
Because the dental implant fuses with your healthy jawbone, it will feel incredibly sturdy. You might imagine dentures or crowns as loose, obviously fake, and uncomfortable replacements for your teeth. However, people with dental implants can chew and otherwise use their teeth as they do with their natural teeth.
Speaking of natural, your dentist will be sure to help you choose a realistic-looking crown, bridge, or denture to cover your implant or implants. They’ll choose a size and shape that fits your teeth perfectly, and they’ll match the color of the material so your new implant won’t look much brighter than your natural smile.
Once you have your implants in place, you don’t have to do much in terms of maintenance. Just brush and floss them like you would your natural teeth.
And, with proper maintenance, you can expect your dental implants to last you a lifetime. After all, a titanium rod fused into your jawbone is a pretty big addition to your smile.
Are there any disadvantages?
There are so many wonderful reasons why you should get dental implants. Some people are suspicious of them, even though the reasons why you would far outweigh the reasons why you wouldn’t.
It is important to keep in mind that the process of getting dental implants is slow. If you need a bone graft or a sinus lift, for example, these procedures take time to heal and provide the results needed for you to place an implant.
Then all patients will have to wait for the implants to heal and fuse after the procedure. This part of the process alone can take up to three months. In total, some patients had to wait 12 months between the consultation, the preparatory work, the surgery, the healing, the crown, the bridge or the prosthesis.
If you are in a rush to perfect your smile, the waiting period could be an inconvenience. However, remember that there really aren’t any quick fixes in dentistry for missing teeth. It’s the best way to get a long-lasting, natural-looking tooth to complement your smile. And, as we’ve said before, it’s worth the wait because your implants will likely last a lifetime.
You should also research the cost of your implants. Everyone’s estimate will be different, of course, as one patient may require no prep work while others will need a transplant, sinus lift, and tooth removal. Speak to a dentist for a quote, but know that this whole process isn’t the cheapest in terms of dental care.
I’m ready for dental implants
As you probably already realized, the disturbing title of this blog was a bit misleading. There is nothing grim about the truth about dental implants. 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, however, is to see a dentist who can work out your treatment plan. We are here to help you.
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.