Dental Implants – Resolution For Missing Teeth
Living with missing teeth can do more than just ruin someone's self-confidence. It can make chewing and speaking more complicated and cause healthy teeth to migrate into the gap created by the missing ones, leading to jaw pain and permanent bone loss. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants is the most effective way of dealing with this problem. Dental implants are a perfect solution for patients who are missing one or more teeth. They are a more permanent solution than bridges and dentures, which can be more uncomfortable and harder to maintain. Before scheduling their appointments, patients should do some research. Get started by finding out what everyone needs to know about dental implants below.
Types of Dentists That Place Dental Implants
The answer is a bit complicated if the primary question is what kind of dentist does dental implants. General dentists sometimes perform implant placement surgeries, but they usually haven't received any additional intensive training. Patients who want to visit general dentists for implants should ensure they have completed continuing education courses to learn how to place them successfully. It's also relevant to note that even with additional education, most general dentists don't insert many implants and don't have the in-depth knowledge required to complete more complex implant procedures.
Cosmetic dentists are often skilled in restoring dental implants but rarely place them. Therefore, it's never wise to see a cosmetic dentist for advanced surgical treatments. In those cases, it's better to see a dentist specializing in implants.
Patients who have lost teeth due to severe gum disease and/or bone loss will often receive referrals to periodontists. These experts receive additional training in diagnosing and treating issues with the gums, teeth, and bones. Prosthodontists also receive specialized training but focus instead on repairing or replacing teeth. As a result, they're a good fit for patients who are missing teeth in the front of their mouths and do not need treatment for gum disease before having an implant placed.
Out of all dental practitioners, oral surgeons receive the most additional training. As a result, they possess a high level of skill in performing all kinds of dental surgeries, including dental implant placements and soft and hard tissue grafts. Patients who need complex care before they can have their dental implants placed should consider visiting an oral surgeon, as should anyone with compromising medical conditions.
Why Get a Dental Implant?
There are many solutions for replacing missing teeth, but professionals now consider dental implants as the gold standard. Dental implants have a success rate of about 95% and are very similar to natural teeth, so patients will not notice any difference in how they look or function. They provide a permanent solution that doesn't just stop healthy teeth from migrating to fill the open spaces in the jaws. Dental implants help reduce or prevent bone loss associated with missing teeth. In addition, dental implants are durable, require no special care, and are very easy to clean. Patients opt for this solution can eat all their favorite foods without worrying about damaging their dental prostheses.
The Implant Procedure
Every case is different, but all dental implant placements are considered surgical procedures. The good news is that these relatively minor surgeries do not require general anesthesia. Instead, the dentist will apply a topical anesthetic and then use a localized option like lidocaine to numb the area.
Once the patient's mouth is numb, the dentist or oral surgeon will screw the titanium implant post into their jaw bone. The implant post will become fused with the jaw bone during a natural process called osseointegration. Osseointegration can take 10-12 weeks. At this point, the dentist will fit a custom crown onto the abutment to provide the patient with a false tooth that's as strong as the original.
Unfortunately, some circumstances can complicate dental implant placements. For example, patients who have been missing teeth for years often have reduced bone mass. As a result, they may need bone grafts, in which an oral surgeon will add hard tissue to the area. The bone graft will ensure the bone is strong enough to support an implant. The addition of a bone graft procedure can add a few extra weeks to the healing process when necessary.
Schedule an Appointment to Get Started
Patients considering dental implants can start the process by speaking with their general dentists. However, patients should seek a different provider if their general dentists have not undergone the additional training required to safely and successfully place dental implants. Going to a dental office offering general dentistry and periodontal services is the best way to access all the specialized care required to insert and maintain a dental implant.