In times past, patients who were missing one or more teeth had few options when it came to replacing them; yet today, dental implants have provided patients with an advanced and highly-popular option to maintaining a healthy smile. As dental technologies improved with time, many patients began to make the switch from removable dentures to dental bridges. But it doesn’t stop there, nowadays, people are replacing bridges with dental implants.
Dental implants consist of a high-quality metal post, which must be surgically placed into a patient’s jawbone, and a false tooth, or crown, that is placed on top of the post once it has healed. Patients who are missing multiple teeth also have the option of having a few implants placed across the span of the arch that is missing teeth and having multiple false teeth fused to these few posts. Anywhere from four to six posts will be required in order to hold the implant arch in place.
The Implant Process
The first step toward having new natural-looking teeth implanted is, of course, to have the old, damaged natural teeth removed. Once patients have healed, they can then have one or more posts implanted into the jawbone by an oral maxillofacial surgeon. The oral surgeon will then fabricate a permanent crown designed to fit perfectly with other natural teeth and to function just like a normal tooth. This crown can be placed as soon as the gum tissue surrounding the implant post has fused and healed.
The Benefits of Having Dental Implants
Once the implants have fully healed, patients will regain full functionality of their mouth. Unlike dental bridges, implants do not come with an extensive list of prohibited foods, nor do they require a re-learning period for normal speech. Plus, they help to maintain the patient’s gums where his or her natural teeth have been removed, helping to prevent further decay. Implants also help to maintain one’s facial features and bone structure to diminish a sunken jaw look.
Since dental technology has continued to advance, there are even more options to choose from. The medically trained and expert oral maxillofacial surgeons of OMSH offer various implant options from All-on-4 and teeth-in-a-day, to mini implants and reconstructive jaw surgery.
Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?
Only a qualified dental surgeon providing a full oral health assessment can determine whether a patient is suitable for implants. Patients must have sufficient bone structure left to support the implant post, which sometimes requires a bone graft. Implants may not work well for smokers and patients with certain medical conditions, thus a dental consultation is key.
Though there is an investment in cost and a longer healing time associated with the implant procedure, they are ultimately offset by the more permanent nature of dental implants when compared to bridges. This is why they offer such an advanced alternative with several benefits. If you’d like to consider implants or if you want to learn more about alternatives to bridges and dentures, connect with OMSH in Houston, TX. Call OMSH at tel:832-509-4505 for your appointment.