Tooth loss is a significant oral concern that can greatly impact one’s quality of life, affecting everything from oral functionality to self-confidence. Thankfully, dental technology advancements offer effective solutions, with dental implants being one of the most popular choices for patients looking to combat both visual and functionality concerns associated with missing teeth.
That being said, a dental implant procedure can be lengthy, and tends to span around 6-8 months in total, requiring serious commitment from the patient seeking the treatment. In the following guide, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about dental implants, highlighting their benefits, the duration of the implant procedure, and ideal candidates for this impactful treatment. Let’s take a look!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants – often referred to as teeth implants – serve as a modern, highly effective solution for tooth replacement, and are, in essence, tooth replacements. But how does the procedure work? It’s relatively simple – an implant comprises a titanium post that acts as an artificial tooth root, surgically inserted into the jawbone. Upon this post, a dental crown or bridge—made to resemble natural teeth—is affixed. The end result is a sturdy and durable replacement that successfully restores both aesthetics and functionality to the mouth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Improved oral health
One of the main benefits of dental implants is that they offer a significant benefit to your overall oral health. Unlike bridgework, dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, allowing more of your natural teeth to be left untouched, thereby improving long-term oral health. They also help prevent bone loss in the jaw and maintain facial structure, and can also help to fix misalignment and discomfort linked to tooth loss.
Since dental implants function like your own teeth, they provide a level of comfort that surpasses removable dentures. They won’t slip or click when you talk, laugh or eat, making social interactions (and eating food!) more enjoyable.
Improved speech and confidence
Unlike dentures, which can slip in the mouth and cause slurring or mumbling, dental implants allow you to speak confidently and clearly, without worry.
Durability and convenience
Another benefit of dental implants is that they’re incredibly durable, typically lasting many years – and potentially even a lifetime – with good care and maintenance. In contrast to dentures, which are removable, dental implants are considered a permanent solution to tooth loss, eliminating the inconvenience of removing and cleaning dentures, as well as the need for adhesives to keep them in place.
Natural appearance and functionality
Dental implants also look and feel natural, enhancing not just the smile’s aesthetic appearance but also the ease of activities such as eating and speaking. This can greatly boost your confidence in the workplace, as well as during social interactions.
How long does a dental implant procedure take?
The duration of the dental implant procedure can vary significantly, typically spanning several months. The initial stage involves a surgical procedure to place the implant into the jawbone, followed by a healing period that can last from three to six months. This period allows the implant to fully integrate with the bone, a process known as osseointegration.
Once the implant has sufficiently healed, an abutment is placed to hold the new tooth, after which the artificial tooth or crown is attached to the abutment. The entire process from consultation to the placement of the final crown can take anywhere from six to eight months on average, most of which is dedicated to healing and recovery.
Who should opt for dental implants?
Dental implants can be an excellent solution for anyone missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or decay. They’re especially beneficial for patients who have issues with removable dentures, want to maintain good oral health, and seek a natural-looking solution.
However, candidates for dental implants must have good general and oral health, adequate bone density to support the implant, and a commitment to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits. It’s always best to have a comprehensive consultation with a dental professional to evaluate if dental implants are the right choice for your individual circumstances.
The bottom line
Overall, dental implants offer an innovative and effective solution for those dealing with tooth loss – but the transformation isn’t an overnight one. That said, professionally-fitted dental implants provide a host of benefits, including improved oral health, comfort, speech, and appearance, while offering durability and convenience. Although the process may be lengthier than other dental procedures, the end result—a functional, comfortable, and natural-looking tooth—makes it a worthwhile investment for many.
It’s important to consult with a dental professional to determine whether dental implants are the best choice for your individual circumstances, ensuring a personalised treatment plan that will help you regain a confident and healthy smile.