Dental emergencies don’t happen too often, but when they do, asking for immediate help is vital. Whether you have been involved in a car accident or have fallen down the stairs, if you have lost some teeth it is likely that you will need dental implants.
Missing teeth can damage your self-esteem as everyone longs for that perfect, even smile. Dental implants are a long-lasting way of dealing with missing teeth. They are placed into the jawbone by a dentist and can support crowns or dentures.
The implant consists of a titanium screw that takes the place of the lost tooth root. After it has been secured, the bone outside of the implant will fuse to it gradually, thus securing it. A crown or denture is then placed over the implant so no one would ever know that you suffered any damage.
It is possible to have one or many implants – several can also be fitted in the same sitting. Implants help to bring back your confidence so you can show off your beaming smile once more. Other options to replace missing teeth include full or partial dentures and bridges (false teeth that are fixed onto teeth surrounding your missing ones). The dentist will recommend the best option for you. This will be based on factors such as which teeth are missing and your current dental health.
Implants last longer than dentures and can survive for as long as your teeth if you look after them. Dentures tend to last for around five years only. They are moulded to the exact shape of your mouth, causing potential irritation when this area shifts in shape slightly over the years.
Dental implants are generally fixed during two separate sessions. Firstly, the implant is fitted into your jawbone. During the healing period, your bone will develop and grow around the titanium implant. The second procedure will come a few months down the line and will involve the new tooth being fitted atop the implant.
The procedure usually takes place in your dentist’s surgery, where you will be anaesthetised so as not to feel pain. Before the process, you will undergo a dental examination to determine the exact size and shape of the implants and prosthetic teeth.
Who can have dental implants?
Dental implants are suitable for the majority of adults whose gums are not damaged. Children and young people under 18 are exempt due to their underlying bones still growing. Dental implants may not be suitable for you if you are a smoker, suffer from diabetes that is not kept under control, or if you have undergone radiotherapy for the jaw. It is best to have a discussion with your dentist about your medical history before deciding whether or not to have implants.
How much do dental implants cost?
The NHS only funds dental implants in rare cases, such as for people with mouth cancer. It is best to ask your dentist if you can benefit from free treatment. Otherwise, the cost will depend on the severity of your case. As dental implants are near-permanent, they cost more than some of the alternatives but may save you money in the long term.
Benefits of dental implants
The fixed implants provide your jaw and the rest of your teeth with strength and stability and enable restoration of the remaining healthy teeth. One of the damaging effects of losing a tooth is that bone mass starts to reduce around the site. The root is used to stimulate strengthening of the bone but it cannot do so if the tooth is missing. Dental implants encourage new bone growth and can aid the prevention of bone loss in the coming years.
Dental implants provide a stable and robust root for the replacement teeth that look, feel and function just like regular teeth. Usually made of porcelain, the restorations mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Once an implant is placed with the prosthetic tooth, you won’t be able to tell it apart from the other teeth.
Improve your quality of life
Implants help you to look attractive and feel comfortable in day-to-day life. They won’t become loose, slip or fall out of your mouth. They also eliminate the need for adhesives to keep restorations in place.
Support facial structure
By integrating into the jawbone, implants encourage long-term facial structure and restore facial muscles. When most or all the natural teeth are in very poor condition or have fallen out, the jawbone can no longer stimulate bone growth and begins to dissolve.
Bone loss can cause people with missing teeth to age through a sunken appearance around the mouth. This impacts the whole structure of the face. Dental implants can help to prevent this.
Patients with no teeth often have difficulty speaking clearly. With this secure and stable fixture in your mouth, you can carry out any conversation confidently, without worrying about mumbling or slurring.
Patients who receive dental implants are unlikely to experience tooth and gum sensitivity, especially while eating hot or cold foods.
Prevent bone loss
Because titanium implants are integrated into the jaw, they provide stability to the facial structure and help prevent progressive bone loss and gum recession.
Save healthy teeth
As opposed to crowns and bridges, implants do not require the neighbouring teeth to be trimmed down in order to prepare for restoration. That means you don’t need to sacrifice any natural teeth that you have left.
Prevent TMJ disorder
Replacing missing teeth can prevent the occurrence of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), which is marked by pain at the site where the upper jaw bone meets the lower jaw bone. Implants are also helpful in preventing the shifting of the teeth or the jaw.
Implants are very strong and durable and in most cases never need to be replaced. While restorations may become worn down after a decade or so, implants may last for many years, or even a lifetime if you take care of them. Dental implants are cost-effective when you consider how long they last. The dentist can help you prevent future problems once the implants have been fitted.
Won’t limit what you eat
Many people who wear dentures complain that they can’t bite down on certain foods because the dentures don’t stay in place. Hard or tough-to-chew foods become impossible to eat. You won’t have any such problems with properly fitted dental implants.
Restore your confidence
Losing teeth can lead to lower self-esteem. You may not wish to smile as much with a mouth full of missing teeth, particularly if they are in visible areas. People who wear dentures are often worried about them moving during the conversation. Dental implants are secured to the jaw bone so this will not be an issue.
Easy to look after
Dental implants are as simple to look after as regular teeth. If you brush and floss following recommended guidelines and attend frequent dental check-ups and hygienist sessions, they will perform well over time. However, implants are prone to plaque and tartar, as much as normal teeth, and gum disease is still a threat if they are not well kept.
An outcome you can rely on
Dental implants are successful for around 98 percent of people. The amount of jawbone supporting the implant and the smoking habits of the patient can be limiting factors, but all in all, they are a safe option.
The final say
If you have been in an accident or have lost teeth by other means, dental implants are worth discussing with your dentist. Expert’s skilled and experienced team of professionals are some of the best in the business. Whether you choose a same-day appointment or one month in advance, you will be met with the same level of exceptional customer service.