Tooth loss is extremely common, affecting nearly 178 million American adults. Of course, losing your teeth as a child is normal and to be expected; after all, your primary teeth are not expected to serve you as an adult! However, losing your permanent adult teeth can have devastating and lasting negative effects on your self-esteem. If you are part of the millions of adults that are struggling with the shame and embarrassment of tooth loss, then you might be a good candidate for dental implants. We here at Portland City Dental can help you determine if dental implants are a good fit for you.
What are Dental Implants and Who Can Benefit from Them?
Dental implants are a fantastic option for many of our patients. Unlike dentures or partials, dental implants are a permanent solution to your tooth loss, giving you a natural-looking and lasting replacement for your missing teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, are not a permanent option. They often need realignment and, even if you take good care of them, usually do not last longer than seven to ten years. They are also fragile and can impair your ability to speak clearly and eat your favorite foods.
Dental implants are surgically placed underneath your gum line and directly into your jawbone. It is comprised of three major components: the screw, the abutment, and the restoration. The screw is made of titanium and is first surgically placed into your jaw. Because it is made of titanium, your body is less likely to reject it when compared to other materials.
Titanium fuses to the bone in a process known as osseointegration. This helps strengthen and support the implant, helping it last for the duration of your life. Once the implant heals, we then place the crown (or the restoration) onto the abutment, which is the post that connects the implant to the restoration. From start to finish, this process can take between six months to a year to complete.
Unfortunately, not everybody is going to be a good candidate for dental implants. People who are afraid of surgery, for instance, may not want to consider dental implants. People who have significant bone loss in the jaw may also be poor candidates for dental implants. However, for these individuals, they may be able to consider a bone graft procedure. This procedure places donor bone at the site of the implant to help build it up and make it ready to have an implant placed.
People with weakened immune systems or chronic illness may not be able to have implants, either. If you have gum disease, we may need to address it first before moving forward with the procedure. Lastly, smokers are not good candidates. If you smoke, we strongly advise you to quit smoking immediately for your overall wellbeing.
Dental implants look and feel natural and are the next best thing to having your own real, natural teeth. This procedure is extremely safe and has a high success rate, of over 99 percent. You can brush and take care of your implants like you would take care of your normal teeth, and you do not need to worry about embarrassing mishaps like them becoming dislodged from your mouth like dentures might. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, or to schedule an appointment at our office for a consultation, please give us here at Portland City Dental a call at (503) 867-8124 today!