Dental implants are artificial tooth roots placed in your jawbone with your natural bone. Once placed, the implant becomes a sturdy base to support one or more artificial teeth (crowns). An abutment or connector is placed on the dental implant to hold and support a crown. Crowns are custom-made to match your natural teeth. They encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Ideal Candidate for Dental Implants
Loss of teeth may occur due to several dental issues, including dental caries, periodontal disease, and injuries. Anyone who has a tooth extraction can consider dental implants to replace a missing tooth. As long as your gums are healthy and have enough supporting bone to hold the implant, you are an ideal candidate for dental implants.
Dental implants are usually not recommended if you suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart problems. In such cases, we evaluate your condition to determine if dental implants are right for you.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Unlike the dentures of old, dental implants are a more modern solution for restoring teeth.
Dental implants offer many advantages, including:
- They are the strongest and most stable devices available to support replacement teeth.
- They allow new teeth to feel, look, and function naturally.
- They preserve natural bone and help stimulate bone growth.
- They offer a long-term solution to restoring missing teeth.
- With dental implants, you can avoid uncomfortable dentures and having bridges put in (which can ruin an undamaged tooth).
- They allow you to carry on with your everyday activities confidently (e.g., eating, smiling, laughing, talking, and kissing) without worrying about your teeth.
Dental Implant Consultation
During your consultation, Dr. Weishoff will review your medical and dental history and ask you questions about any medications you may be taking. She will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants and, if so, will develop a treatment plan for you, detailing the timeline involved.
What to Expect with Dental Implants
There are several steps involved in getting dental implants, which include:
- Removing a damaged tooth
- Preparing the jawbone (grafting), when needed
- Placing the dental implant
- Placing the abutment
When a graft is needed and healed, the implant replaces the root of your tooth. An implant is usually made of titanium and surgically placed in your jawbone. Once the implant fuses with your jawbone, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant. The abutment is used to hold the new tooth securely. After your gums heal, your doctor takes more impressions of your mouth and teeth to make the crown, which is placed after your jaw has healed and is strong enough to support the new tooth. The implant is designed to blend in beautifully with your natural teeth. You can choose artificial teeth that are removable, fixed or both.
How long the procedure takes depends on your personal needs, medical and dental history, implant site condition, and the technique and materials used. While relatively simpler cases may take a few short months, more complex cases may take up to a year to complete. Dr. Weishoff will give you an estimate of timelines for your specific case.
Dental Implants and Pain
Most patients report experiencing less pain when getting dental implants than a tooth extraction. Dr. Weishoff will advise you on the type of anesthetic for your procedure. Local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia are all options.
After surgery, you might feel some soreness in your mouth. You can manage the pain with over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen and Tylenol.
The best feature of dental implants is that any discomfort you may have felt with dentures is eliminated. This is because dental implants are permanent and act just like natural teeth.
Risks With Dental Implants
Getting dental implants is a surgical procedure and has associated risks, such as:
- Implant failure (rare but treatable)
- Fracture of implant
- Fracture of abutment
- Osteonecrosis (caused by interrupted blood supply)
- Gingival recession (receding gums)
- Peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant)
Although dental implants have proven to be highly successful for dental restoration, they occasionally fail. Implant failure could be triggered by several factors, such as:
- Heavy Smoking
- High Alcohol Consumption
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Chronic Problems, such as Diabetes and Heart Disease
- Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy
- Medication-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (MRONJ)
Care Tips For Dental Implants
Dental implants are incredibly durable and usually last quite a few years, especially when you care for them properly. Follow these care tips to ensure your implants last a long time:
Dental Implants for Children
Dr. Weishoff may recommend dental implants for children if they have lost their permanent teeth due to injury or accident. However, she may advise parents to wait until their children have finished growing. For boys, this generally occurs around age 20, and for girls, around age 18.
Dental Implants in Mt. Angel, Oregon
At Mt. Angel Dental, we offer dental implants to patients who need a permanent solution for missing or damaged teeth. If you are considering getting dental implants for tooth restoration, please call Mt. Angel Dental at (503) 845-2273 to schedule an appointment, or you may request an appointment online.