You only get one permanent set of teeth after your milk teeth fall out. There’s no regrowing a tooth after dental trauma or damage. But accidents happen along with damage to teeth because of gum diseases or lack of good oral hygiene. So, what do you do if you’ve lost a tooth or if one or more teeth are damaged beyond repair?
Thanks to modern dental technology, you now choose from many options tailored to your oral needs, preference and budget. There are dentures (artificial teeth), dental bridges (using your existing teeth as anchors) and dental implants for a more permanent solution.
Which one is right for you? Dental implants use the latest technology to provide more advantages than traditional teeth replacement options like bridges and dentures. If you’re considering getting dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth, a dental implant procedure may be an ideal solution with multiple benefits ranging from improved functionality and oral health to enhanced aesthetics.
Interested? Read our comprehensive guide about dental implants, how they work, and their benefits to decide if they may be the right treatment for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots inserted in your jaw to provide a stable and secure foundation for your implants. It involves inserting titanium screws in your upper or lower jawbone. They can be used to replace missing teeth or provide support to full or partial dentures.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
1. Restore Appearance
Dental implants offer an ideal solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring appearance because they look and feel like natural teeth. There is no hassle of removing or cleaning them or feeling self-conscious about your smile at social events or work. There is no risk of them falling out or not matching your existing teeth. Whether you want to replace one or multiple missing teeth, dental implants ensure a lasting result that gives you a beautiful and healthy smile.
2. Improved Bite & Speech
Missing teeth can affect your ability to chew and speak. Depending on the location of your missing teeth, speech impediments and bite issues can occur, making it difficult to chew or talk clearly. Since dental implants function like natural teeth, they resolve these issues, improving both form and functionality.
3. Superior Comfort
The dental implant procedure is customised to your specific needs with precision fitting from the first step of fitting the implant to abutment connection, bite impressions, and crown fitting. This ensures a custom fit with superior comfort that comes with a fixed new tooth or teeth designed for durability and longevity.
4. Preserve Facial Structure
Missing teeth can lead to bone loss and give your face a sunken look. Dental implants fuse with your bone and promote bone growth, helping preserve your facial structure and jawbone density.
5. Dietary Benefits
With removable or less sturdy teeth replacement options such as dentures or bridges, there are many foods like hard candy, chewy foods, nuts or grains that you must avoid to prevent damage or displacement. But dental implants are fixed into your jawbone, allowing you to enjoy foods you like with fewer dietary restrictions.
6. Improve Oral Health
Gaps between teeth increase the risk of cavities or tooth decay because there is more room for bacteria to grow and lead to plaque. Dental implants fill the missing space, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Also, implants are standalone and don’t use adjacent teeth as anchors. This ensures you retain your natural teeth structure as much as possible to help maintain and protect your existing natural teeth.
7. Prevent Shifting of Teeth
Empty spaces between your teeth can cause the remaining teeth to shift, leading to misalignment and future oral issues such as affecting your bite and speech. Dental implants help restore the teeth to their natural functionality by filling the missing spaces.
Dental implants can last as long as 15 to 20 years or even more with proper care and maintenance. This makes them a long-term investment in not only your oral health but also your smile.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
The dental implant procedure involves several steps:
- An initial consultation includes a detailed oral and medical assessment with X-rays to determine if a dental implant procedure is suitable for you.
- If you have a weak jawbone or bone loss, bone grafting may be required to increase bone density to support your new implant. With patients having adequate bone volume, bone grafting is not required. If you’re getting an implant to replace a damaged or decayed tooth beyond repair, the dentist will need to extract it before inserting the implant.
- You will be given a local anaesthesia before the procedure after which your dentist will insert a titanium screw to serve as an artificial tooth root for your new implant. The dentist will make a small cut in your gum to expose the bone and place the screw inside it. The cut will then be sutured and given time to heal and fuse with the jawbone. This generally takes about 3 to 6 months, depending on your healing capacity.
- After osseointegration or the bone integration process, your dentist will place an abutment on the implant to connect the artificial tooth or crown.
- The measurements or mould for the crown will be taken to match your bite and natural teeth shade for a flawless fit and match.
- You will be given a temporary crown to wear while yours is being prepared. Once the crown is ready, your dentist will connect the crown to the abutment and fit your new tooth, restoring your smile and enhancing functionality.
A dental implant procedure may seem complex, but the results and long-term benefits far outweigh the process. This is because dental implants are fixed and look and feel just like your natural teeth.
When Are Dental Implants Necessary?
Dental implants may be necessary when you have a missing tooth, and other replacement options may not work for you. This could be because they may not suit your dental requirements, or you may not prefer bridges or dentures. Not replacing missing teeth can lead to serious oral issues in the future, such as teeth misalignment, increased risk of tooth decay or bone loss. Missing teeth can also affect the look of your smile and make you feel embarrassed, hindering the quality of your life with both social and functional effects. Additionally, teeth that are damaged or decayed beyond repair must be extracted to prevent the decay from spreading to the existing healthy teeth. It is not advisable to leave the space empty after the damaged tooth has been removed because of the negative repercussions of missing teeth.
Dental Implants in Ballarat: The Lasting Solution for Missing Teeth
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are a game-changer. They offer numerous benefits compared to other teeth replacement options, being permanent and long-lasting while improving aesthetics and functionality.At Dana Street Dental, we strive to provide all our patients with a happy and healthy smile with treatments tailored to their oral needs and lifestyle. With state-of-the-art technology for precision results and a team of trained dentists to support you on your dental implant journey, from consultation to treatment and aftercare, we’re here to help. Book your dental implant consultation today.