Welcome back to the Salvatore Dental blog! In this blog, we work to provide our readers and patients with helpful information about teeth! To continue our efforts to inform our clients on the dental industry, dental procedures, and dental health, we’ve created a blog on dental implants.
Whether you’ve heard about dental implants before or this is your first time hearing about them, chances are you’re intimidated. We get it, ‘dental implants’ sounds intimidating, but we’re here to demystify them. The truth is, dental implants can greatly improve one’s quality of life, especially if you have some dental problems.
Stick with us to learn all about what dental implants are, how they work, and situations where they may be necessary!
What Are Dental Implants?
Did you know that there is evidence of dental implants being used in Mayan culture? Dating back to 600 AD, Mayan jawbones have been found with primitive dental implants made from shells embedded into the bone. Jumping forward in time, the official American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) was created in 1951 by a group of dentists who were successfully utilizing dental implants in their patients.
While these are some fun facts, we know you’re probably still wondering what dental implants are, so let’s get to it. Dental implants are made from titanium, as it’s a metal that naturally binds to human bone! These pieces of metal are essentially fabricated tooth roots that are implanted into a patient’s jaw. Interestingly enough, the dental implant is only the titanium ‘root’ that is implanted into the jaw. Beyond that, there are two other components involved in a dental implant.
The next component of dental implants is the abutment. This is essentially a permanent cap that your dentist will install on the top of your implant. While it’s permanent, it can be removed or replaced by your dentist as needed. Once it’s placed on the implant, the abutment serves as a mount for your crown or multiple fake teeth.
Next, we have the crown or prosthetic teeth. The crown will be custom made to fit your mouth, and they’re usually made out of porcelain or zirconium. Each of these materials both look like real teeth but also are durable, long lasting materials. Depending on the type of dental implant you get, you’ll have a single crown or a set of prosthetic teeth.
What’s more, dental implants are one of the safest dental procedures you can utilize. The results are extremely predictable, and more importantly, they leave patients satisfied. In fact, there are roughly three million people, just in the U.S., who have utilized dental implants.
How Dental Implants Work
As we hinted at above, there are two different types of dental implants that you can get. First, we’ll talk about endosteal implants. This type of dental implant is directly implanted into the jaw with one surgery, and then adds the abutment with a second surgery. Once the surgeries are completed, the prosthetic tooth is added to the implant.
The other type of dental implant is called subperiosteal implant. Instead of being implanted into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants consist of a metal frame that is surgically fitted and placed onto the jawbone. The frame that’s used has posts on top of it that eventually push through the gums as they heal from the surgery. Once the posts are accessible, the needed amount of crowns are applied to the post.
Now that we’ve talked about how dental implants work, let’s cover how you take care of them. The truth of the matter is that taking care of dental implants is essentially the same as taking care of your natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing should, more or less, do the trick when it comes to taking care of your dental implants. All in all, you need to focus on keeping plaque and bacteria from building up on your implant(s). In the event that you don’t consistently clean and maintain your implants, you risk gum loss, and in extreme cases, irreversible bone loss.
Beyond daily cleaning, have your dentist routinely check your dental implants with each visit to ensure that everything is looking good and functioning properly.
Why You Should Consider Dental Implants
First and foremost, let’s go over some benefits that come with dental implants. In our opinion, the only disadvantage of this procedure is that it requires surgery. That being said, the surgery is minimal, safe, and leaves patients with life changing results.
These results are most notable a new, improved tooth or teeth. When using dentures, one has to constantly put them in, take them out, clean them, and spend money on denture cement and cleaning products, dental implants are extremely low maintenance once they’re applied. Like we said above, proper prosthetic tooth maintenance only requires you to brush and floss daily. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your dental implants falling out like you do with dentures.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of dental implants, we’ll discuss some situations where you could benefit from utilizing dental implants. Essentially if you have any missing or damaged teeth that you’d like to replace and your jawbone is healthy enough to support and thrive with a titanium implant, you should invest in dental implants. Not only will dental implants improve the aesthetic appearance of missing or damaged teeth, but they will also help improve the function of your mouth. At the end of the day, you’re just replacing damaged or missing teeth with a brand new, durable fake tooth!
At Salvatore Dental, we’re committed to helping our patients understand the ins and outs of the dental services we offer at our practice in Ballston Spa. Hopefully this article has helped answer some of your questions surrounding dental implants. If you now find yourself wanting or having more questions about dental implants, get a hold of us today! If you’d like to learn more about dental implants and our process, we’d be happy to talk with you. And if you’re interested in getting dental implants, reach out to learn about our dental implant special!