Dental Implants basics

Tooth loss can significantly affect one’s smile and quality of life. Even a single missing tooth can create problems in normal chewing and speech. Fortunately, missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants at Northstar Dental Care to restore your smile and optimal dental function. If you would like to know more about dental implants as a tooth replacement option, this article is for you. So, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about tooth implants. 

What is a Dental Implant?

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, an implant is a screw-shaped structure that is inserted into the jawbone, and it functions as a replacement tooth root. Over time, dental implants fuse with the neighboring bone tissue and provide a solid foundation for the attachment of the artificial teeth. The artificial tooth prosthesis, whether a crown, removable denture, or a fixed bridge, is connected to the implant with an abutment. 

Who Can Benefit from Dental Implants?

Any individual who has lost one or more natural teeth, and are looking for a reliable, long-lasting and naturally beautiful replacement option, are candidates for getting dental implants. However, one must have good oral and physical health to become eligible for dental implants. Specifically, the density and quality of the jawbone where the implant will be placed, should be sufficient enough to support the implant. However, if you don’t have sufficient bone quality or quantity available, no need to worry, our dentists at Northstar Dental Care will restore optimal bone health with a bone graft procedure. 

How Many Implants Do I Need?

If you are missing a single natural tooth, we will replace it with an aesthetically pleasing zirconia crown. In case you have lost one or more teeth, we will replace them with an overdenture supported by two or more implants. Finally. If you have lost all your teeth, we will provide you with a complete fixed bridge supported by up to four implants – a prosthesis known as all-on-4 implant-supported complete fixed bridge. The best thing about dental implants is that you don’t necessarily need an implant for replacing each missing tooth. 

What is the Procedure for Getting Dental Implants?

Replacing missing teeth with dental implants requires excellent clinical skills and careful planning by the dentist. The procedure is usually carried out in multiple steps:

  • Clinical Examination and Treatment Planning – during your first appointment, our dentists will perform an in-depth clinical examination to ascertain your eligibility for dental implants. They will also record the location and number of the missing teeth, to prepare a customized treatment plan. 
  • Implant Insertion – at the next appointment, we will insert the implants. First, we will administer local anesthesia to make you pain-free. We will then make incision of the soft tissues where the implant has to be inserted to expose the underlying bone. Next, a hole will be drilled in the bone, carefully screwing the implant into position. Afterward, we will place a healing collar over the implant to ensure uninterrupted implant healing. You will be asked to wait for 4-6 months for the implant site to heal. During this time, we will place temporary crowns over the implants so that you don’t your smile is not affected. 
  • Implant Loading –  once sufficient healing of the implant site has taken place, we will remove the temporary restoration and replace it with a definitive prosthesis, depending on the number and location of the missing teeth. In some cases, dentists choose to load implants with a prosthesis immediately after insertion. This is known as immediate implant loading. However, it is not very commonly done. 

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants offer various benefits over conventional tooth replacement options:

  • Durability – titanium dental implants are highly durable. With proper care, they can last for a lifetime. 
  • Lifelike Aesthetics – dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth, as they offer natural aesthetics. Implant-supported teeth blend in with the natural ones and are virtually indistinguishable. 
  • Optimal Dental Function – dental implants feel and function like natural teeth, optimally restoring your speech and chewing efficiency. 
  • No Dietary Limitations – unlike removable dentures, dental implants require no dietary limitation; you can enjoy your favorite foods without any issue. 
  • Bone Conservation – unlike removable dentures that exert pressure on the jawbone and accelerate bone loss, dental implants conserve bone tissue. In fact, they promote bone formation around them and thereby ensure optimal bone health. 

When it comes to the most durable and lasting tooth replacement option, dental implants top the list. So, what are you waiting for? Book your appointment with our dentists at NorthStar Dental Care today and take your first step towards a beautiful and healthy smile.