Everything you need to know about dental implants
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Everything you need to know about dental implants

If you find yourself shying away from the camera, or speaking with your mouth halfway closed because you’re self-conscious about missing teeth, dental implants could be a great option for you! Unlike dentures that require removal for cleaning and make weird “clicking” noises, dental implants are permanently attached to your jawbone, look like your natural teeth and can last a lifetime with proper care. Today we’re talking about everything you need to know about dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are one of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can last a lifetime and blend in with your remaining natural teeth. The implants themselves are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, made of titanium and other materials that serve as an anchor for the replacement teeth. Depending on whether you are missing one, several, or all of your teeth, you may have a single implant, or implant-supported bridges.

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, there are two main types of dental implants: Endosteal and Subperiosteal.

  • Endosteal implants are placed in the jawbone, and are the most common type of implant.
  • Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone. These are used for patients who don’t have a healthy enough jawbone for bone augmentation. 

Overview of the Dental Implants Procedure

After your initial consultation to determine that you are a good candidate for dental implants, your dentist will implant a post into the jawbone. This is usually done under local anesthesia. However, at Midlothian Dental Center, we also offer Sedation Dentistry for those with higher levels of anxiety, or those with difficulty becoming numb during treatment.

The next phase of the dental implant treatment is called osseointegration.

Osseointegration is where the implant combines with your jawbone to ensure it’s strength and longevity. Many patients can have their replacement teeth placed the same day while some may need to wait several months for the implant to fully integrate into the jawbone. During your consultation your dentist will determine if placing your replacement teeth the same day is possible.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

Did you know that it’s a common misconception that age is most important in regards to whether implants are a good option? When in fact, overall general health is actually more important than age. Chronic illnesses such as diabetes could interfere with healing after surgery, and those who use tobacco could also experience slower healing. Whether tooth loss is developmental or trauma related is also a factor in treatment. If you are interested in dental implants for missing teeth, make an appointment with your dentist who will help determine if you’re a good candidate.

What happens after receiving a dental implant?

It’s important to remember that dental implants are fused with your jawbone. This means they are permanent and don’t have to be removed for cleaning like dentures. They also don’t “click” when you’re eating or kissing. Implants are made to replicate your natural teeth, so you can feel confident everyday whether you’re in front of the camera or around the table enjoying a meal with friends or family. Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care.

How to care for your implants post-surgery

Use a soft, nylon toothbrush to clean your teeth twice a day. You’ll also want to avoid any abrasive toothpaste products, as using them could cause some discomfort. When you have dental implants, flossing becomes even more important. This is because plaque and bacteria can accumulate around the implant where it meets your gum line. Ask your dentist for specific flosser recommendations.

You’ll also want to ensure you’re keeping any follow up appointments with your dentist to ensure proper healing of the implants, as well as routine cleaning care performed by the hygienists.

For more information about dental implants, please give us a call today to schedule a consultation. We can be reached at: (804) 794-4588.

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