Thanks to advances in dental technology, you don’t need to worry about having a gap-toothed smile! Instead, you can replace the roots of your teeth with artificial posts called dental implants.
How exactly do they work?
To understand dental implants, you have to start by understanding how your natural teeth are structured. The roots are embedded in your jawbone (though your gums). But when your teeth are damaged or decayed, you can use dental implants as a permanent replacement.
To install them, your dentist will put an artificial root that’s made out of a titanium screw (or some other type of prosthetic) in where your natural root would be. Your gums will be given time to get used to the new addition – and to heal around the post. Then, your dentist will attach an artificial tooth to the post.
Can anyone get dental implants?
Yes – as long as you have enough bone mass in your jaw so that the post can be fixed in place. If you naturally have a small mandibular (lower jaw) or maxillary (upper jaw), you probably won’t be able to use them.
And unfortunately, people who suffer from alcoholism tend to have problems after their implants are installed.
What about the procedure itself? Is it safe?
Like any other type of surgery, the better health you’re in beforehand, the better your odds of avoiding any side effects. If you suffer from Type II diabetes, you may experience some problems during the healing process. Your dentist will talk to you at length beforehand about any health problems that could complicate things.
Also, before you go into surgery, your dentist will make sure you’re a good candidate for dental implants. He’ll take x-rays to make sure that everything looks good to move forward.
What is the recovery period like?
You’ll be under anaesthesia during the procedure, but afterwards, you may have some minor discomfort for the next day or so. Then, you’ll spend about three months letting your gums recover before your artificial teeth are installed. In the meantime, your dentist may have to adjust your posts.
How much do dental implants cost?
They tend to be on the expensive side. Count on yours costing about $6,000 (with the exact amount depending on your exact procedure). However, most people consider it money well-spent because dental implants can make you look and feel so much better! Luckily, your health insurance may foot the bill, depending on why you need the implants in the first place.
How long will they last?
Count on being able to enjoy your dental implants for at least 15 to 20 years! As long as you practice good oral hygiene, you may be able to take advantage of them for the rest of your life!