Dental implants are a form of cosmetic dentistry that is used to prevent jaw bone loss and to replace a missing tooth or teeth. There are many causes of tooth loss, including tooth decay, gum disease, trauma to the tooth, and excessive wear and tear. Up to 70% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have at least one missing tooth according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Missing teeth can have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem and eating habits. Replacing missing teeth with dental implant help improve a person’s self-esteem and provide stability to the jaw bone so that a person can eat solid foods.
To see if dental implants are an appropriate option instead of dentures, a patient will have to have a consultation with a dentist, oral surgeon, periodontist, or prosthodontist. The dental professional will decide whether a patient is eligible for dental implants based on a thorough examination of the patient’s teeth, gums, and jaw. Their decision will be based on the patient’s jaw bone density and structure, the condition of the patient’s gum and other oral tissues, and the patient’s oral hygiene habits. Based on the results of the examination, the dental professional can explain the treatment process and dental implant options to the patient.
There two types of dental implants. They are categorized as either stage one or stage two based on the type of procedure that is used to put them in place. Stage one dental implants use longer connectors that leave the head of the implant above the gum line. Subperiosteal implants are an example of single-stage implants that are used on patients who lack jaw bone height. Stage two dental implants use smaller connectors so that gum tissue will grow around the implant. Endosteal implants are a common stage one implant that is used as an alternative to dentures.
Bridges or dentures may not be appropriate for some people because they may have poor ridges, sore spots, or they are simply uncomfortable. Yet, a patient must have healthy gums, adequate bone support, and practice healthy oral hygiene for dental implants to work. A dental professional can guide a patient to the best possible option that will lead to a beautiful smile.