What You Need to Know About Dental Implants

Are you thinking about getting a dental implant? Before you take the plunge, here are some things you should know about dental implants, the dental implant procedure, and some dental implant costs.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery is a procedure in which the roots of your teeth are replaced with screw like fixtures made of titanium metal. The artificial tooth, or crown, usually made of porcelain, are then screwed onto the titanium fixtures. This procedure could be for a single tooth or multiple teeth, depending on the requirements of the patient. Dental implants are the next best alternative to having your own teeth.

 

One of the main benefits of denture implants is that they look just like natural teeth. On top of this, as they are designed to be long-lasting, they function better and are certainly more stable than conventional dentures. Dental implants are designed to fuse with your jawbone. The main benefit of this is that it stimulates the jawbone, making it stronger and healthier. This can also actually prevent your face from sagging which is often the case when you have had multiple teeth removed and the jawbone is weakened.

 

Some of the other benefits of dental implants that it does not affect your speech, so you are able to talk normally. The best thing of all is that you can go back to eating your favourite foods! You no longer have to pick and choose the types of food you eat due to the fact you have teeth missing, or that you are wearing dentures. You are able to chew your food better without any discomfort. What’s more, you cannot get cavities with denture implants. Of course, you still need to brush, floss and maintain your teeth and gums, and visit the dentist as scheduled, but you can go to town on chocolate and sweets if you so choose!

Dental Implant Procedure

dental implants

Dental implant surgery may involve several different procedures, depending on the condition of the jawbone and the type of implants being installed. Typically you need to wait until your jawbone has reached its full growth potential. Therefore this procedure is not recommended for children.

 

Just like any type of surgery, dental implant surgery does present some health risks. These health risks are rare however, it is possible that they can occur. If they do occur, they are usually minor and the treatment is normally pretty straightforward. Some of these risks include damage to surrounding bone structure, nerve damage, infection, and possibly even sinus problems, particularly when implants are placed in the upper jaw.

 

The procedure itself is performed in several stages and can actually take several months to complete depending on the amount of work required. Like any surgery, there is preparation involved. This includes a comprehensive dental examination in which x-rays are taken, and then models are made of your teeth, jaw, and mouth.

 

To control the pain of the procedure there are various forms of anesthetics used. It is important to determine the best option for you, and what the repercussions of the chosen method are. You can discuss this with your dentist or dental surgeon prior to the procedure.

 

Dental implant surgery is typically outpatient surgery and as mentioned earlier, is performed in several stages:

  Firstly, if a damaged tooth is being replaced, this needs to be removed.

  From there, your jawbone is prepared for the procedure. This may actually involve bone grafting depending on the condition of the jawbone and how fit it is for the surgery.

  Once your jawbone is ready, the surgeon then screws the titanium fixtures into your jawbone.

  Then it is a waiting game as you wait for your jawbone to heal from the surgery. This process can take several months depending on the condition of your jaw, and how many titanium screws are inserted.

  Once the healing process is complete, the dental surgeon will then place an abutment onto the titanium fixtures. An abutment is basically just an extension of the titanium fixture.

  Finally, once all the soft tissue, has healed your dentist will then make a mould of your teeth and jaw bone, and then attach the tooth onto the abutment. Then voila! The process is complete and you have a million dollar smile once again.

  After the procedure, you will experience some side effects. This includes swelling of the gums and face, bruising of your gums and skin, minor bleeding, and pain in the immediate area where the implant has been installed. You will normally be prescribed medication to assist with pain management.

Dental Implant Cost

Of course, dental implants are more expensive than conventional dentures, such as having a root canal done (which is the process of saving a tooth). At the time of publication, the cost for one single dental implant can range from $4,500, up to $7,000, depending on the complexity of the procedure. This is usually not covered by health insurance as it is considered a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, cost is obviously an important consideration. If you do decide to have dental implants, it is important to make sure that your dentist, or dental surgeon, is properly accredited to perform the procedure.

 
 

How are dentures repaired?

new denturesWhat are dentures?

Dentures are a removable prosthetic device for missing teeth. This can also cover the surrounding tissues and gums. There are two types of dentures; there are complete dentures and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when there are no teeth remaining and therefore, act as a replacement for all of your teeth. These dentures rest on the gums of the jawbone. Partial dentures are used when only some teeth are missing. These are attached to nearby remaining teeth and rest on the gums and the bone where the missing teeth would be.

Dentures can be a very cost-effective method with regard to the replacement of missing teeth. Although they are very durable, they are not as strong as ordinary teeth or even denture implants. If you bite on something hard like an almond nut or candy or drop them on a hard surface, this can cause damage to them. Regular wear and tear can also cause damage to dentures, and even have an impact on their alignment. If these problems are not properly resolved, this can cause irritation to your gums and could lead to the development of complications, including sores and infections. Therefore, if any problems do occur with your dentures, it is recommended to repair them. How do you go about this?

Denture repair kits

If the repairs are not carried out properly, this might end up causing more harm than good. Firstly, an incorrect repair job on a denture may cause damage to your gums, tongue or cheek lining which can lead to other complications. Secondly, you need to consider that you may cause further damage to the denture by trying to repair it yourself. The cost of restoring the denture due to a bungled repair job could end up being more costly than having it repaired in the first place. Worse still, you may need to replace the denture completely if the bungled repair job is a complete failure.

Denture repair done properly

As you can see, there are a number of pitfalls in trying to repair damaged dentures by yourself. If your dentures have become too uncomfortable to wear, or they are damaged, then it is highly recommended to consult with your dental prosthetist or a dental laboratory technician. Denture repairs can be a relatively quick process and shouldn’t be too expensive. This, of course, depends on the nature of the problem.

Usually, the dental prosthetist will first examine the dentures to determine the nature of the problem. He will then work out how the dentures should be adjusted or repaired. If dentures are newly fitted, then adjustments will need to be made until the fit is perfect. This is to ensure that your bite is normal because when your natural teeth are missing, your jawbone can shrink. This is why dentures need to be adjusted on a fairly regular basis. So if it is a simple realignment that is required, this is a relatively quick process. However, if there are missing pieces, such as a tooth, that need to be replaced, the dental prosthetist or laboratory technician may require the original shape to cast the mould. This can be done on the same day.

So if you find dental implants too expensive, then the use of conventional dentures is a cost effective solution. Although dentures are prone to damage, and they require realignment from time to time, they are still a very viable alternative to dental implants.


Are Dentures Painful?

Dentures are great in replacing teeth that have fell off or removed. Plus, because of dental care innovations, dentures have become more natural looking and more comfortable, so no reason not to wear them as substitute for lost teeth.

are-dentures-painful-direct-denture-careStill, it may feel uncomfortable at first. Your gums need to heal and your mouth needs to get used to the false teeth, especially if you’ve had no teeth in the empty spaces for some time. Sometimes it takes a few months for you  depending on how fast your body heals.

During this time, you are likely to feel sore. This pain and swelling of the gums will however slowly subside.

partial-or-full-dentures-direct-denture-careIt can be a partial or full denture, but during the following instances it’s necessary to have remaining teeth extracted and replaced with a full denture:

  1. There are only few remaining teeth that cannot support a new prosthesis.
  2. The natural teeth are in poor condition.
  3. If the sockets or gums are infected so that they can no longer support the remaining natural teeth.

Nonetheless, it’s up to the dental prosthetist to decide if it’s better to remove or keep the remaining teeth.

dentist-direct-denture-careIn case a tooth or a number of teeth are extracted, it’s recommended that you see your dentist a day (24 hours) after. You also need to consult the day after you got your dentures. Then a follow-up visit is necessary after one week.

These follow-up visits are important because:

  1. They allow your Dental Prosthetist to check for any sustained soreness that need his or her attention i.e. sore spots.
  2. How your dentures fit should be checked. The Dental Prosthetist will make adjustments to your dentures if necessary. Sometimes you may require soft relines to your dentures following the denture procedure.

These visits are recommended for immediate dentures.

What immediate dentures involve

Immediate dentures are dentures placed immediately after the extraction of the remaining teeth. The procedure involves taking impressions of your mouth while the teeth are still present.

By the time the teeth are removed, a denture is ready to be inserted and everything is done on one visit.

tooth-extraction-direct-denture-careThis differs from the traditional way. Usually, teeth are extracted during an initial visit. The gum and jaw bone would then be allowed time to heal before your dentures are fabricated.

This could take several weeks, and you’d have to go around without teeth in the meantime.

Given this, more prefer the immediate denture technique so that they won’t have to go around without teeth.

Yet this procedure has the following disadvantages:

  1. Aesthetic compromises

lost-a-tooth-direct-denture-careThis happens because the Dental Prosthetist is unable to fit the denture prior to the extraction of the teeth. This can also cause soreness and the need to adjust the denture.

  1. Swelling of gums

Since the denture is placed immediately following tooth extraction, you are likely to experience some swelling.

gum-swelling-direct-denture-care

You are therefore required to keep the denture on for the subsequent 24 hours and see the Dental Prosthetist the next day. This is necessary because taking off the dentures may cause bleeding and swelling that could prevent you from putting the dentures back on.

So you’ll know what to do, the Dental Prosthetist will give you some post-operative instructions. It is important that you follow these to the letter.

How to care for your new dentures

Note that during the healing process, your speech may be slightly altered and your tongue and lips need to adapt to using the new denture.

Here are steps you must do to speed up healing:

  • Do not remove your dentures for three days, or as directed by the Dental Prosthetist. This will help minimise the chances of bleeding and keep swelling to a minimum.

diet-direct-denture-care2) Chew only soft foods and in small bites. You should not chew as hard using your dentures nor eat hard foods as if you’re using natural teeth. They can’t chew the same way natural teeth do.

In case your bite feels uneven several days down the line, tell your Dental Prosthetist.

In the off chance that you develop a severe sore spot which prevents you from wearing the denture, visit your Dental Prosthetist.

 

3) After three days, take off your dentures before every bedtime to allow you gums to  heal. Check with your Dental Prosthetist on how you should clean your denture. You should clean it regularly to prevent stains and bacteria from accumulating.

Though you may experience some pain with fresh new dentures, the pain will surely subside and having a complete set of teeth, albeit false, boosts your confidence significantly. This is confidence that will allow you to achieve greater things.