What are Dental Implants? Tackling fact and fiction

What are Dental Implants? Tackling fact and fiction

Posted by Morgado-IDC | 25th August 2021 | Team News

Dental implants are used to replace teeth and are the closest possible match to natural teeth. They are usually made out of titanium and are placed into the jawbone, replacing the root of a natural tooth and then a prosthetic tooth can be placed on top. Patients can have a number of dental implants – from singular teeth up to full-arch sets. Providing there is suitable bone for them to integrate to, implants can be suitable to anyone from young adults right the way through to 118!
Out of curiosity, did you know that 69% of the UK population between the ages of 35-45 are missing at least one tooth? That’s a lot of lives’ we could potentially help and change the way a patient can smile!

Implants are similar to natural teeth in the sense that they will last as long as you look after them and continue to see dental care professionals for routine appointments and maintenance. Alike other replacement surgeries such as hips and knees, there is no lifelong guarantee – there are important factors to being able to keep your dental implants healthy and if you do so, they can last for many years. Like natural teeth, if you neglect dental implants, it can lead to other dental and health complications. As well as feeling pretty much like natural teeth, dental implants are made to be as identical as possible to natural teeth. Dental implants can also help preventing premature aging of patients’ appearance when individuals are missing several teeth in the back segments of the mouth. Missing teeth will cause the jawbone to recede causing the look of a sunken-in, aged appearance. By replacing the root of the teeth, dental implants, can prevent this appearance from happening as maintains the stimulation of the jawbone making sure it stays healthy, preventing atrophy of the bone.

A big part of maintenance after having dental implants fitted is attending regular monitoring appointments and hygiene appointments with Dental Care Professionals.
Another important factor in deciding whether dental implants are suitable for you or not is deciding how important food is to you. What we mean by this is how much you enjoy biting into an apple, crusty baguette, or chewy meat. When using dentures, you only have approximately 20% bite strength compared to natural teeth and dental implants. Having dental implants may mean you can enjoy your food better without compromises and may find eating a balanced diet a lot easier! Moreover, it has been proven that poor oral hygiene can badly effect patients’ mental health. Being able to replace teeth without worrying about what they look/feel like with drastically change the way individuals feel about their smile!

Another brilliant factor to consider is that dental implants can help preserve the adjacent teeth – losing teeth can cause drifting, misalignment as well as overloading of other teeth. If a patient was to opt for a dental bridge over a dental implant, the adjacent teeth one side (or even both) would usually have to be altered and cut down. In some cases, when this has previously been done it might be absolutely fine and the right approach but if you have a missing tooth next to two perfectly healthy, untouched teeth, the likelihood is we do not want to disrupt or interfere with them as could lead to other problems like loss of tooth vitality and extra dental work that would otherwise be unnecessary.

When talking to patients about dental implants, there any many myths that can surface and potentially ruin an opportunity for an individual to consider dental implants. We acknowledge that dental implants might not be ‘cheap’ in the short-term, but if you think of them are an investment and you are willing to keep them healthy in the long-term they are often not as much money as people often mistake them to be and are an excellent investment. You must also consider that ‘cheaper’ alternative tooth replacements like dentures might need to be altered several times and replaced every 5-8 years which will have a significant cost in the long run.

Another myth that surrounds dental Implants is that Implants can damage your mouth and/or jaw. This is false. “I cannot have a dental implant fitted several years after my extraction” this is another dental myth. This can sometimes be true and planning to place a dental implant at the right time is crucial to expect the best possible outcome but the main variable that decides if you are suitable for an implant is bone mass and this is highly variable between different people. Usually, if there is enough bone for the Implant to be placed, a dental implant can in normal circumstances be carried out.

You might also hear people back off at the idea of dental implants claiming: “I can’t face going through the pain”. As it is a surgical procedure you may obviously experience some minor discomfort and slight swelling post-treatment. Nonetheless, pain is not usually a significant post-operative problem unlike most people might think. The levels of discomfort experienced as usually a fraction of those experienced with a conventional tooth extraction for example.

We usually use local anaesthetic so you will numb but awake. For particularly nervous patients we can however offer the option of sedation, again ensuring we can cater to everyone and no one misses out on a treatment they desperately need or want.
Despite all of this, we understand that dental implants can be a heavy financial stress in the short-term so we offer 0% finance plans to help spread the cost of high value treatments to make it as affordable as possible for those who feel more comfortable with paying monthly. We genuinely believe no matter who you are, you should be able to access gold standard care and treatments.

If you or a family member are considering having Dental Implants or would like to discuss if these could benefit you, please contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation. We are on a mission to get Exeter to love their smile again. Let’s start with you!

Elle Hetherington

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