Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable, or don’t want to have good tooth structure removed to make a bridge, talk to your Las Vegas cosmetic dentist to see if implants are an option for you.
Implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years. Implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw where they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.
Implant includes abutment and crown from $1,999/each
Las Vegas Dental Implants – The 3 Step Process
Most patients find that an implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth. There are generally three phases to getting an implant:
- First, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup during the healing process.
- Next, the bone around the implant heals in a process called osseointegration. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. Osseointegration means “combines with the bone,” and is a process that takes time. Some patients may need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, sometimes up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
- Finally, it’s time for the placement of the artificial tooth/teeth. For a single-tooth implant, your dentist will customize for you a new tooth, called a crown. The crown will be based on size, shape, color and fit and will be designed to blend in with your other teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Note: The replacement teeth will take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready.)
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many benefits of dental implants. Though dental implants are more expensive than some other procedures, dental implants are also long-lasting and very similar to your real teeth. If you’re missing teeth or a tooth, dental implants are one of the best interventions to keep the rest of your teeth healthy. Here are a few benefits of dental implants to consider:
Reduces bone loss: Your jaw bone is made to withstand the pressure of chewing. Your teeth roots connect to your jawbone and keep it strong. When you lose a tooth and its roots, the jaw bone starts to weaken in that area, since it isn’t receiving pressure from chewing. Dental implants connect to the jawbone and work very similar to real teeth, so your jawbone stays strong.
Dental implants take more time to affix to your mouth, but they also last much longer than alternatives like bridges. Though the cap attached to the implant, which is made to imitate the look and feel of a natural tooth, may crack or chip after years of use, the implant itself may last a lifetime without issues.
Bridges and dentures can become loose-fitting over time as the jawbone starts to weaken. This can make them uncomfortable to wear or cause them to become loose, inviting bacteria into hard-to-reach places. Dental implants won’t warp or lose their fit. This makes them much more secure and generally a more comfortable solution.
Protects Other Teeth
Other alternatives for replacing missing teeth, such as bridges, require the neighboring teeth to act as anchors. This requires them to be filed down and capped. With dental implants, the neighboring teeth can remain untouched. Filling in the empty space in the gums also helps to prevent bacteria from building up in hard-to-reach-spaces on healthy teeth.
Dentures and bridges present some maintenance challenges. As previously mentioned, bridges and dentures may fit loosely over time as the jawbone changes shape slightly. This can make them difficult to clean, and exposes them to bacteria. Implants won’t lose their fit and you can brush and floss them just like ordinary teeth.
Should I Get Dental Implants?
There are many good reasons to get dental implants and few to avoid them. Still, dental implants are not always a good solution for everyone. Your dentist can give you the best advice about getting dental implants or not. Some of the following factors may also help you decide.
Your Oral Health is Good
Your current oral health is an important factor when deciding whether or not you should get dental implants. Since dental implants require surgery, which requires recovery time, you shouldn’t get dental implants if you’re currently recovering from an infection, or if you have untreated cavities. Once these issues are resolved, dental implants may be a good option for you.
Your Jawbone is Healthy
Since dental implants are fused to the jawbone, they require the jawbone to be strong and sturdy. If your jawbone has weakened, it is still possible to get dental implants, but a bone graft may be required.
You Have One or Two Missing Teeth
If you are missing a number of teeth, especially if they are close together, dental implants may become overly expensive. The healing process may also put too much strain on your mouth. A bridge may be a better option in this case, but your dentist can give you the best advice based on your own situation.
You Are Comfortable with Surgery
Dental implants meet with the jaw bone, which is part of what makes them long-lasting and effective. However, this process also requires surgery on your gums. Though no one is excited for the prospect of surgery, some are more averse to the procedure than others. If you are not comfortable with surgery or anaesthesia, dental implants may not be the right option for you.
Let’s Get Started
If you are interested in implants, it’s a good idea to first discuss it carefully with your dentist. If you are in good general health, this treatment may be an option for you. In fact, your health is more of a factor than your age. You may need to be medically evaluated by a physician before any implant surgery is scheduled. We offer free implant consultations at any of our locations!