Millions of Americans still suffer tooth loss despite the advancements in dental care. It may be due to periodontitis, tooth decay, or an injury. Regardless of the cause of your tooth loss, missing teeth can be a blow to your self-esteem. Beyond your physical appearance, teeth affect your food choice, presenting another nutritional challenge. The good news is that dental implants Greenpoint Brooklyn, NY, offer a welcome alternative to replacement options like dentures and bridges. You may benefit from dental implants if a lack of natural teeth does not allow you to get dentures or bridgework.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are screw-like metal or zirconia posts designed to replace tooth roots. They are embedded into the jaw, so placement requires surgery. Dental implants fuse with your jaw bone over time and become a part of you. Therefore they are stable and do not slip into your mouth as you eat or talk. Bone healing usually takes time, around six months. For this reason, you should be willing to commit to the long treatment process.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
If you can’t get dentures or bridgework for one or more reasons, you may discuss dental implants with your oral surgeon. Getting dental implants is a surgical procedure that may not be safe for everyone. People who are healthy enough to undergo routine extraction or oral surgery can be considered for dental implant surgery. However, there are certain instances when your doctor may caution against dental implants. For example, dental implants may not be an option for you if you have any condition that impedes healing. That includes uncontrolled diabetes and heart disease. Heavy smokers are also not eligible for dental implants since they risk surgical wound complications.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The first step in getting dental implants is establishing your eligibility for surgery. An initial consultation with your oral health professional will let you confirm if dental implants are right for you. Expect a comprehensive dental exam whereby your dentist takes 3D images and dental x-rays of your teeth. Your specialist also reviews your medical history to know any medical conditions you may have. You will also provide a list of medications and supplements you are currently taking to avoid complications like excessive bleeding. Your oral surgeon will tailor your treatment plan to meet your individual needs. The surgeon considers factors like the number of missing teeth and your jawbone condition.
The surgeon may use local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or sedation for the procedure, depending on what is best for you. The surgeon will then make an incision to expose the bone and drill a hole into the bone receiving the implant. Next, the surgeon inserts the metal post deep into the bone. At this point, you will still have a gap; your dentist may recommend a partial denture to fill the void as your bone heals.
The osseointegration process begins once the metal post is placed into your jaw. The process is essential since it helps create a solid base for your artificial tooth.
If you have missing teeth, consult your dentist at Brooklyn City Dental to establish if implants are an option for you.