Lost a tooth or two? Worry no more. With the advancements in dental technology, you can regain your smile and confidence using permanent dental implants. And with the right care, your teeth can remain well looked-after and secure.
Caring for dental implants is much less stressful than you might anticipate. However, just like with natural teeth, it is important to practice proper oral care.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically placed on top of the jawbone under your gums. Once the implants fuse with the jaw bone, your dentist will mount your new artificial teeth on top of the posts. Implants act as roots for lost teeth and provide added support to your teeth, unlike dentures which can come off at the worst of times.
Why You Might Need Dental Implants
Losing teeth can be a physical and social nightmare. Lost teeth usually leave some gaps in your jaw, and this can affect the way you talk, chew, and smile. Your jaw bone can also become loose, which can leave you at risk of contracting bacterial infections.
Dental implants offer a more permanent solution and can give you another chance at leading a normal life. When done by a professional Arkansas family dentist, implants have a 95% success rate, and do not slip, make noise, or damage your jaw bone, unlike dentures and bridgework. You also do not need to remove your new teeth to clean them, or before going to bed. The procedure can take months to complete, but the wait is worth your while. With proper daily oral care, implants can serve you for a lifetime.
Types of Implants
The decision on what type of implant to use primarily depends on how many teeth you have lost, their location, and the tenacity of your jawbone. You can undergo a single tooth implant or replace a whole set. There are two major types of dental implants: a conventional dental implant, and a mini dental implant.
Conventional Dental Implant
Conventional implants are larger and ideal for molars. They require intensive drilling to fuse the artificial root to the jaw bone. If you lost your teeth years ago, your jaw bone is likely to have been reabsorbed, and you may not be a good candidate for conventional implants. However, your dentist can still perform a bone graft to restore lost or thin bone, and afterward, you can receive your conventional implant.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are suitable for smaller teeth. They require less invasive dental surgery, and your dentist will not drill too deep. Mini implants require little underlying bone and will work perfectly, even in cases where your bone has been reabsorbed or is too soft for conventional dentures. However, they will still serve the purpose.
Both implants are made from titanium, which is highly durable and not prone to cavities, unlike natural teeth. The metal is also stable and does not pose any health risks such as gum irritation.
How to Care for Implants
Dental implants are made from titanium which is highly durable and not prone to cavities. However, oral health is even more important after you have undergone implant surgery. Caring for dental implants will ensure that your gum and remaining natural teeth are healthy. Dental plaque may not affect your new set of teeth, but it could damage your natural teeth, or result in gum inflammation.
That said, caring for dental implants is as simple as caring for your natural teeth. Some simple oral care practices include the following:
Follow a Soft Diet After Implant Surgery
Your gums are probably still sore, and the new teeth need time to fuse to the jawbone. Following a soft diet immediately after implant surgery will give your gums time to heal and allow the implant to fuse properly.
Keep Your Dental Appointments
Your dentist will need to observe the healing process, check for any infections, and whether the implants are fusing properly to your bone. Dental implants are relatively safe, but just like any other invasive procedure, there is still a possibility of post-surgery complications. If you notice any signs of infection such as swollen gum tissue, pain or inflammation, notify your dentist immediately and schedule an appointment.
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
Brush and floss at least twice a day. Routine brushing and flossing of teeth will prevent the development of dental plaque which can damage your natural teeth and gums. Your dentist will prescribe a special brush to help clean your teeth, gums, and metal posts properly.
Avoid chewing hard objects
Hard objects can damage your natural teeth as well as your new crowns. If it feels too hard to bite, then it is probably best if you avoid it to be on the safe side.
Avoid Smoking and Caffeine
Caffeine and tooth-staining tobacco are bad news for both your natural teeth and your new crowns.
Losing your teeth can be a huge setback and can adversely affect your quality of life. Though traditional tooth replacements such as dentures can help restore some sense of normality to your dental life, they often come with complications and require constant and inconvenient maintenance. Dental implants, on the other hand, are almost as good as natural teeth, require minimal maintenance, and can serve you for a lifetime if properly maintained. Caring for dental implants is easy but crucial in determining how well they serve you.
If you recently lost your teeth or are tired of the inconvenience that comes with dentures and other traditional teeth replacement options, it is time for an upgrade. Arkansas Family Dental offers comprehensive dental care using the latest state of the art dental technology. Our team of experts will recommend the most appropriate dental implant depending on your teeth situation. Contact us today, and we will be happy to restore your smile.