Tooth loss can impact your daily life in more ways than you might expect. Many people with missing teeth experience jaw pain caused by misalignment of the jaw, shifting of other teeth, leading to new gaps, difficulty chewing, and low self-esteem.
Missing one or more teeth and trying to decide between tooth replacement options like implants, dental bridges, and dentures? While dental implants are by far the most natural, convenient, and permanent option, you might be worried that the process is painful or that your new tooth will not last forever. These myths prevent many patients from exploring the most life-changing option available to them: dental implants. While dentures can slip in and out, dental implants look, feel, and function like real teeth.
In many, many cases, we care for patients who chose dentures because the initial investment was less, they were afraid of pain or discomfort associated with implants, they believed common misconceptions about implants, or they did not want to invest in the time it takes to heal during the implant process. By the time they see us, they are overcome with remorse; their dentures are ill-fitting, causing them discomfort when speaking or chewing. The dentures also look unnatural or simply not functional, and they’re ready to move forward with implants.
The team at Virginia Surgical Arts can address your questions and concerns about teeth implants.
Dental implants offer benefits that no other tooth-replacement option can offer:
Yes! Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime and have that potential. After the titanium post is implanted in the jawbone, osseointegration takes place over the course of the next several months. That means that your jaw bone grows around, fuses with, and anchors the implant just like a real tooth. When ample time is allowed for osseointegration, your implant and your jawbone are permanently fused and the implant becomes a prosthetic root – a permanent solution.
Because osseointegration is so important, it is critical that you honor the healing process. It’s common to be eager to complete the process as quickly as possible, but following the timelines prescribed by your DMD after bone grafting (if applicable) and post-implant ensures long-term success.
The dental crown or artificial tooth attached to your implant may need to be replaced eventually, primarily due to normal wear and tear. While some crowns last a lifetime, 50-80% will require replacement after 15-20 years.
In many cases, dental implants appear to not need replacement. As mentioned above, the artificial tooth that attaches to the implanted post does often require replacement after 15-20 years. Replacing the crown does not require a surgical procedure; it’s often done by a dentist (DDS) in your local dental office.
It’s important to note that teeth whitening does not change the color of an artificial tooth. If you have an artificial tooth in the front of the mouth, speak to your dentist before whitening your teeth. If you have an artificial tooth in the back of the mouth, it’s less likely to be noticeable if the color is a little darker than your other teeth after a whitening treatment. Although not many people choose to do it, you can replace the crown for aesthetic reasons.
Every surgical procedure is accompanied by some inherent risk. Implant surgery has a 95-98% success rate, which means that dental implant failure occurs in roughly 5% of cases. Although very uncommon, it’s important to seek treatment when dental implants fail.
Some of the most common reasons the artificial tooth root or titanium post would need to be replaced include:
Healthy patients are most likely to have a successful surgery. Factors that lead to a higher risk of failure include smoking, poor oral hygiene status, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and certain medical conditions like diabetes, malnourishment, or alcoholism. The team at Virginia Surgical Arts will complete a thorough evaluation to ensure you are a good candidate for the procedure before making a recommendation.
The single easiest way to monitor your implant is to schedule regular dental check-ups. You should schedule a routine cleaning and exam at your dental office every six months (or more often if your dentist recommends it). This routine dental care promotes good oral hygiene, prevents and treats any gum disease early, and offers you the chance to ask questions about proper care.
You might need your crown replaced if it has broken. You might need your implant replaced if you notice any of the following:
The team at Virginia Surgical Arts will let you know what to expect while you heal, but dental implant procedures are not painful and the recovery should never cause severe pain. In many cases, it’s a tooth near the implant causing the problem. Your dentist will examine the surrounding bone, tissue, and teeth to determine the right course of action. Also read: How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take?
Ready to do something for you? Don‘t wait! Connect with the team at Virginia Surgical Arts at (757) 430-7690 or complete the online contact form today. We’re here to answer your questions, ease your fears, and transform your smile!