Dental implants are a modern solution to fix tooth loss. As with most procedures, dental implants come with some small risks, but the benefits outweigh the risks.
Dental implants aren’t a new invention. The first known evidence of a replacement tooth was uncovered in the body of an Egyptian king who lived in approximately 1000 BC. A copper peg had been hammered into his jawbone. However, archaeologists aren’t sure if the tooth was placed before or after his death.
Naturally, dental implants have advanced considerably since then and gained much popularity as a solution for replacing missing teeth. However, as dental implants involve undergoing major oral surgery, it’s not uncommon for patients to have questions about the process. Espire dentists have been performing dental implant procedures for many years and can assure you of their safety, but first, let’s review why dental implants are an effective and suitable solution for missing teeth.
What are dental implants, and are they right for me?
Dental implants are a multi-step process. First, the decayed or damaged tooth and root are removed. Before you go any further, you must heal from the tooth extraction. Then, a titanium post is inserted into the space where the root was. Over the next six to 12 weeks, your jawbone will fuse with the post. Once the post and jawbone have bonded, your dentist will attach a connector post (or abutment) on which the artificial tooth will be secured. The new tooth will match the color and shape of your original tooth.
Before undergoing this lengthy procedure, you can ask your dentist these questions:
Am I a good candidate for implants? As long as your gums are healthy and you have enough bone mass to support the implant, you should qualify for an implant. If you don’t have enough bone mass, your dentist can perform a bone graft to build up the jawbone. People with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease can still qualify based on a thorough evaluation of their overall health status. Those who have undergone radiation therapy to the head or neck area will also need to be evaluated on an individual basis. Smokers can get implants if they quit smoking before the procedure starts.
Are there risks involved in implants? Any surgery involves risks, and dental implants are no different. Infection, implant failure (the implant loosening or falling out), and nerve damage are all possible following implant surgery. Implants placed in the upper jaw may also damage the sinuses. However, the chances of these risks are very low. You can better your odds of a successful implant by taking good care of your gums and teeth before and after the procedure.
Is it painful? Dental implants are no more painful than a normal tooth extraction, and since you’ll be given local anesthesia during the process, you shouldn’t feel any pain.
What are the benefits of dental implants? Dental implants are about as close to a permanent solution to missing teeth as you can get. Unlike removable dentures, implants are permanently fixed to your jaw and therefore function like your normal teeth. With proper care, the implants should last a lifetime. While dentures can sometimes feel insecure and can interfere with your speaking and chewing, dental implants won’t cause such problems.
What if the implants fail? Again, the chances of that happening is minimal. If the implant does fail, your dentist will decide whether to try another implant or go for another option, such as dentures or bridges.
Modern dental implants have been used safely for decades to restore missing teeth. While small risks come with any surgical procedure, there really aren’t reasons not to get dental implants.
Let’s talk about implants
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Mission Valley location today! Our highly trained dentists can discuss dental implants as a solution for your missing or damaged teeth. Don’t live near our Mission Valley, California office? Find one of our other locations near you.
Mission Valley, CA
8989 Rio San Diego Drive
San Diego, CA 92108