Losing a tooth can be a very distressing experience, whether due to an accident or deterioration of the original. Some options for replacing missing teeth include dentures, bridges, or dental implants. With so many options available for dealing with losing a natural tooth, why should you consider getting a dental implant? What is a dental implant, and what benefits make it the ideal choice for replacing missing teeth?
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a method of replacing a lost or damaged tooth. It requires removing the old tooth, if any of it is still left, and its root and replacing them with an implant. The implant structure usually comes in 3 pieces — a titanium implant surgically fused with the jawbone, an abutment fitted on top of the implant, and a dental crown fitted onto the abutment designed to resemble a natural tooth. This long-term tooth replacement option provides you with a new tooth that looks and functions like a natural one.
It can take several appointments to complete the process of a dental implant. After the implant body is fused with the jaw bone, it may take months to heal before the final implant crown can be added.
Unlike dentures, dental implants are low maintenance. They do not have to be removed daily for cleaning, and you don’t have to worry about using adhesives to keep them in place. Also, unlike bridges, dental implants only replace the missing or damaged tooth.
Dental bridges require a crown to be placed on the two teeth next to a missing tooth. Unfortunately, those two teeth might have been healthy teeth that didn’t need to be disturbed.
Also, if those two teeth eventually deteriorate, you can lose the entire bridge. On top of that, a bridge doesn’t minimize the potential for bone loss the way a dental implant does. Dental implants are a stand-alone replacement tooth that doesn’t require modifying other teeth, making them the ideal solution for tooth loss.
Benefits of Dental Implants
To understand why you should consider getting a dental implant, it’s helpful to understand their potential benefits, which include:
Durability — Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene. It’s a solution for tooth replacement that can last significantly longer than a bridge or denture solution.
Increased functionality — Dental implants can restore the ability to chew. They feel just like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, brush, and floss them like other teeth.
Bone loss prevention — When a tooth is missing, that area of your jaw can begin to deteriorate. Replacing the lost tooth with an implant can help prevent bone loss.
Enhanced oral health — Food and bacteria can get caught in the space left by a missing tooth, causing infection or gum disease. Filling that space with a dental implant can help preserve oral health.
Stabilizing other teeth — A missing tooth can cause other teeth to shift and become crooked. This doesn’t just affect the teeth next to the missing tooth and can also impact the teeth above or below a missing tooth. A dental implant can stabilize your other teeth and help keep them in place.
Appearance — Missing teeth alter your appearance and can lead to facial sagging. Replacement teeth can restore your appearance, prevent sagging, and help you feel more confident with your smile.
These factors help shed some light on why you should consider getting dental implants. The next question that needs to be answered is whether you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The best way to determine if you are a candidate and whether you should consider getting dental implants is to consult with a qualified dental implant specialist. Bloom Dental provides dental implants in Arlington, VA. Our licensed dental implant specialists can review your complete medical history and order scans of your teeth to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants.
Previously, some patients were not eligible for dental implants because their jaw bones were not wide enough to accommodate them. But today, dental technology has advanced to the point where those same patients might now be good candidates for bone grafts, which can increase the thickness of the bone and allow for implant placement.
If, for some reason, you are not eligible for a dental implant, we can determine the best alternative options to replace your missing or damaged tooth and restore your smile.
Does Getting a Dental Implant Hurt?
A dental implant procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia by a dental implant specialist, so the patient should not feel any pain during the procedure. In some cases, many patients will also not feel pain after the surgery. However, some discomfort or mild pain is expected during the healing process, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Every patient’s experience is different. Some patients may experience more or less pain and discomfort than others. Following proper care instructions, like avoiding certain foods or activities, may help minimize discomfort and promote faster healing.
Schedule a Consultation
If you haven’t yet lost your tooth and it’s possible to save the tooth or preserve the tooth roots, then our dental implant specialists will do everything we can to do so. However, when that isn’t an option, a dental implant is one of the best and most effective options for replacing a missing tooth. Bloom Dental can help you understand why you should consider getting a dental implant in cases where doing so is right for you. When you need dental services in Arlington, VA, trust Bloom Dental to provide you with service that makes you want to smile.