Over the last 50 years, dental implants have become a popular choice among patients who are looking to replace missing teeth. Boasting an impressive 98 percent success rate, this procedure is able to take an incomplete smile and restore it in its entirety, including all of the missing structures that lie below the gum line. To learn more about how we can improve your quality of life with modern dental implants in Flint, MI, schedule a consultation with Dr. Rodriguez today!
A dental implant is a titanium post that can be surgically placed below your gum line to restore the missing root structure of a tooth. Due to its biocompatible nature, it’s able to chemically fuse with the jawbone, providing it with necessary stimulation and blood flow to prevent it from deteriorating. Once placed, these implants secure a crown, bridge, or denture to complete a smile. They’re able to function and look exactly like natural teeth, making them one of the top tooth replacement choices.
If you’re looking for replacement teeth that look and feel completely natural, look no further than dental implants. With over 500,000 placed every year, this unique treatment is quickly becoming the most popular way to rebuild teeth. With all the important benefits dental implants have to offer, it’s easy to see why! This state-of-the-art tooth loss solution has the potential to dramatically improve your quality of life, which is why most dentists consider them to be the gold standard of tooth replacement. We’ll be happy to go over all the ways dental implants can change your life during your consultation, but in the meantime, read on to learn more about some of the best benefits this treatment has to offer!
Thanks to their foundation in the jawbone, dental implants offer unmatched chewing power compared to other tooth replacement options. Dental implants can easily restore 80% or more of your natural biting force, allowing you to eat apples, steak, nuts, and anything else on your plate comfortably. In fact, most patients can’t tell the difference between their natural pearly whites and the implant tooth!
Traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and bridges may restore your missing teeth quickly, but they don’t last. You’ll need to replace these tooth replacements every ten years or so, which can cost you a lot of time and money over the years. On the other hand, dental implants integrate safely and reliably with the bone and gum tissue in your mouth, giving them the potential to stay in place for a lifetime with the proper care.
The roots of your natural teeth stimulate the jawbone, so when one goes missing, the area of the jaw that it used to support begins to deteriorate. Without a dental implant, studies show that the jawbone can lose 25% of its volume within the first year after tooth loss has occurred.
Unfortunately, not only do dentures lack the root structure to prevent this deterioration, but they may accelerate the proves. When dentures lose their fit, they will rub against the gum ridge and wear away the bone underneath. Dental implants are the only option that replaces the roots of a missing tooth and continues to provide the stimulation that jawbone needs to stay strong and healthy.
Teeth rely on one another for support. If one or more go missing, the remaining teeth will begin to drift and tilt towards the empty space. This will leave you with crooked teeth, bite problems, and potentially jaw issues. Eventually, it may even make it more difficult to replace these missing teeth later.
A gap in your smile can easily trap food debris and harmful bacteria. This can dramatically increase your risk of gum disease, which can damage your jawbone and the connective tissues that help hold your teeth in place. This bacterial infection in the gum tissue is cited as the leading cause of tooth loss in the US, which is why missing one tooth can so easily lead to more missing teeth!
The first step towards getting dental implants is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rodriguez. During this appointment, our team will examine X-rays and inspect your teeth and gums to determine whether this restorative procedure is right for you. Most patients aren’t ideal candidates right from the start, but our team can help make you one! Don’t be dismayed if we let you know that you can’t undergo dental implant surgery right away due to lingering oral health problems or having a jawbone that isn’t dense enough. These can be easily remedied with preparatory procedures that we can schedule for you!
If you have a single gap in your arch of teeth, we can place a dental implant below the gum line to replace the root. The top of the implant will connect a small metal piece known as an abutment. This will hold your dental crown in place, meaning we won’t need to alter your surrounding healthy teeth in any way.
For several missing teeth in a row, we can place an implant-retained bridge in your mouth that’s anchored with two dental implants. Each implant will be surgically inserted into your jawbone on either side of the gap in your smile. Once the abutments are attached and your gums are healed, we’ll connect the bridge to them, completing your arch of teeth.
Implant-retained dentures can be attached to anywhere from four to eight dental implants placed along your gumlines, depending on the density of your jawbone. The restorations are customized to look exactly like natural teeth and gums.
The dental implant process is customized to meet each unique patient’s needs, which is why there’s no singular price that we quote our patients. When you visit our dental office for a consultation, we’ll be able to determine the cost of treatment once we figure out how many implants you need to have placed, what type of restoration you require, and other important factors. Our team will be more than happy to help answer any financial questions you have while you’re here!
Do you want to know more about dental implants before scheduling an initial consultation? Below are answers to some of the most common questions we hear from patients about implant treatment. We hope you find these dental implant FAQ’s helpful as you consider the best way to restore your smile. If you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact our office.
One of biggest benefits of dental implants is their long-lasting nature. With proper care, you can expect your implants to last for several decades or even the rest of your life! This is significantly longer than traditional bridges and dentures, which typically must be replaced every 10 years or so.
Ultimately, the lifespan of your dental implants will depend in part on your oral health and lifestyle. To ensure your implants remain a part of your smile for as long as possible, be sure to:
Even though getting dental implants involves oral surgery, the process will not cause you any serious pain. In fact, your mouth will be numbed with local anesthetic before the procedure even begins. In addition, you will most likely be sedated, which lowers the body’s ability to feel pain. Between local anesthesia and dental sedation, you can rest assured that the implant placement will be a smooth and pain-free experience.
After your implants have been placed, your mouth may feel sore for a few days. Taking prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication as directed by Dr. Rodriguez will help manage any lingering discomfort. Holding a cold compress to your cheeks can also help. If your discomfort worsens instead of improves after two or three days, be sure to give our office a call right away.
While dental implant failure is uncommon, it can sometimes occur. Two primary reasons for implant failure are:
Other causes of dental implant failure may include poor oral hygiene, chronic teeth grinding, tobacco use, certain medications, and certain health conditions that slow down or prevent the body from healing.
It’s important to remember that, overall, dental implants have an extremely high success rate. Your dentist will provide tips to minimize your risk of implant failure.
While it’s possible, studies show that smokers have a higher rate of dental implant failure. Smoking tobacco causes dry mouth and slows down healing, which can interfere with implant osseointegration. Smoking can also cause dry socket, a painful complication that is often avoidable. For these reasons, many dentists recommend that patients quit smoking at least two weeks before implant surgery. Smokers should also refrain from picking back up the habit for at least two or three months afterward. Of course, getting dental implants is a great opportunity to quit smoking for good!