Your smile announces you when you walk into a room, so everyone wants to make that initial meeting a good one. Missing teeth or ill-fitting, uncomfortable dentures can stand in the way of your social, personal, and professional lives by making you self-conscious and unwilling to smile.
Dental implants have become the top tooth replacement option for many people who have missing teeth. Implants offer a permanent solution for replacing teeth because they are nearly as stable and reliable as natural teeth. Thus, restoring your smile and your self-confidence.
Another increasingly popular treatment option is hybrid dentures, a combination of dentures with dental implants. These dentures replace a row of teeth using several implants, fusing the dentures to the jaw.
In this article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about dental implants as well as hybrid dentures.
Reasons People Get Dental Implants
There are a variety of reasons that people opt for getting dental implants, including:
- To prevent teeth from shifting due to missing teeth.
- To maintain the ideal facial structure
- To stimulate the bone in the jaw to prevent deterioration.
- To prevent receding jawbone.
When a tooth is lost (or several teeth), you may not realize the problems this will cause in the future if not replaced as quickly as possible. Discuss this with your dentist to prevent these consequences as you age.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants are designed to work the same way your natural teeth work: The embedded titanium rods take the place of the roots of the teeth to provide the same stability as the replacement teeth. They are permanently inserted into your jaw and you don’t have to remove them for cleaning.
You can eat anything you like and unlike dentures, they can’t shift in your mouth. This eliminates the embarrassing clicking that often happens with dentures when you eat or speak. When your dentist is experienced in restorative dentistry and you diligently care for your implants, they can last you an average of 20 years or longer. Many have a success rate of 95% and have been known to last 35 years or longer.
Once the implants are inserted and healing has ended, they will give you the same confidence you had with your natural teeth!
What About Hybrid Dentures?
There is another option to consider when replacing missing teeth: hybrid dentures. This type of denture merges the technology of both implants and dentures and is less expensive than a full set of individual implants.
Hybrid dentures utilize high-quality prosthetics to replace full rows of teeth by fixing the dentures in place with titanium posts that are fused into the jaw. The hybrid teeth are acrylic and are fixed in place, so the dentures won’t move around in the mouth. They do not have to be removed to clean; in fact, only your dentist can remove them. These dentures are also meant to replace missing gum tissue. They have pink acrylic attached to them to make them look more natural than some dentures.
Finally, they are the closest that you’ll get to feeling like you still have your original teeth. Our dental team here at Wilmington Dental Associates will be happy to discuss this option with you.
The Process of Dental Implant Replacements
Getting dental implants can take between three months and a year so it’s important that you are committed to the entire process. You’ll start with an initial consultation and examination and a date will be set to begin the implant procedure. Each time frame is different because it depends on your jawbone health, bone structure, and oral health. If any broken teeth need to be removed before beginning the implant process, your dentist will discuss this with you.
Generally, there are three phases in the process of getting dental implants:
#1 – The Implant Rods are Placed Into the Jawbone
Your dentist will surgically place the required number of implant posts into your jawbone. Local anesthesia will be administered to prevent you from feeling any pain. While your mouth is numb, the dentist uses surgical guides to place the implant post(s). You may feel some pressure during this but you should not feel any pain.
During the first few days after this, you may experience minor soreness and discomfort where the rods were placed. You can take over-the-counter pain medicine as needed, but let your dentist know if the pain is very uncomfortable so they can assist with other pain medication if needed.
During the healing process after this appointment, you can eat a diet of cold foods and warm soup.
#2 – The Bone Fuses With the Implant(s)
After the implants are in place, the bone around the implant needs time to heal and grow, a process called osseointegration. Literally translating to “combines with the bone”, this phase requires patience and trust in your dentist. This part of the process can take several months, as the jawbone grows around the implanted post, and makes the implant strong and long-lasting.
#3 – The Artificial Replacement Tooth (or Teeth) are Placed on the Rods
After osseointegration is completed to your dentist’s satisfaction, the artificial tooth is placed. With a single tooth implant, a new tooth (a crown) will be custom-made for you. The crown’s shape, size, fit, and color will be designed to blend in with the other teeth around it. If multiple teeth are being replaced, a bridge or hybrid denture will be created for your mouth and attached to the implanted posts.
This takes time, too. In some cases, your dentist will place a temporary bridge, crown, or denture in your mouth so you can carry on with your life until the permanent replacement tooth (or teeth) are ready.
If you are interested in possibly getting dental implants, take the time to discuss the process with your dentist and make sure to ask any questions that you may have.
When You Need Dental Implants, You Can Count on the Team at Wilmington Dental Associates
Here at Wilmington Dental Associates, our dental professionals are highly experienced in all types of dental treatments, including dental implants and hybrid dentures. Our compassionate team of experts is ready to work with you no matter what your dental needs may be.
If you have any questions about dental implants or would like to get started on the process, don’t hesitate to contact us today!