People lose their teeth for a number of different reasons. Tooth loss can occur due to decay, oral impact, or tooth extraction surgery. It's important that patients have missing teeth restored as soon as possible to protect their jawbones. Dental implants are a permanent solution for people who need tooth restoration.
The dental implant procedure is a type of oral surgery, and some patients may be hesitant to commit to such a treatment. However, dental implants can give you back the ability to smile confidently and eat the foods you love. Here are a few facts that can help you make up your mind about dental implants:
1. Dental implants become part of your jaw.
When you look at someone's dental implants, you're really only seeing part of the prosthesis. Dental implants extend beneath a person's gum tissue and into their jawbone. The internal part of a dental implant is made from titanium. The human body handles titanium very well, which means your dental implants will become integrated with your body over time as your jawbone heals around them. The result is a firm connection that will allow you to use your dental implants just like your natural teeth.
2. Dental implants are installed using local anesthesia.
Some people fear the pain they imagine will come from the dental implant procedure. However, dental medicine is sufficiently advanced that patients need not worry about discomfort. Dental implant surgery is performed with the aid of local anesthesia. Lidocaine will be injected into your mouth, where it will numb the nerves in your teeth and gums. Your dental implant will be inserted while you are still numb. Many patients report feeling pressure or tugging, but you should not feel pain at any point during your appointment.
3. Options are available for people with insufficient bone mass.
Dental implants are usually placed directly into a patient's jawbone. For this to be a possibility, patients must have a minimum amount of bone tissue. Some patients have insufficient bone mass due to bone erosion. Luckily, there are options to remedy this situation. Patients can choose to have mini implants installed, which require less bone tissue. Patients can also opt to have subperiosteal implants installed. Unlike endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants sit above the jawbone. Patients also have the option of bone graft surgery, which will bulk up the bone mass of the patient's jawbone, enabling endosteal implants.