Are you experiencing any toothaches or pain in your mouth? If you are, that could be a sign of tooth decay, which is a common problem many Americans are living with today.
Depending on the severity of the decay, Dr. Kindt may recommend a tooth extraction to prevent further decay from spreading to your neighboring teeth and fitting you with an artificial tooth as a replacement.
If you have spent any time researching the procedures and options available to you, you may have found that dental implants are the most popular way of correcting tooth loss.
In the past, dentures and bridges were the only treatment options for decayed, injured, or missing teeth. However, due to advanced dental technology, a safer, more reliable, and more efficient treatment option is available - dental implants.
There are a number of reasons why that is the case, both from a functional and aesthetic perspective. Yet, if you are unfamiliar with them, you may wish to know more about implants before committing to receiving one.
This is where we can assist you. Our Meza, AZ team at the office of Timothy H. Kindt, DDS can answer your questions about dental implants vs. alternative options - depending on your needs and preferences.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are screw-like fixtures or metal posts that replace damaged or lacking natural tooth roots, providing a solid foundation on which artificial yet realistic-looking teeth are placed. These dental implants are surgically inserted inside your jawbone to restore the proper teeth function and ability to chew.
Why Would You Want a Dental Implant?
For many of our patients, how the implant looks, and whether or not the implant appears just like their natural teeth are major factors in their decision to choose implants or other alternatives. While all of the options try to replicate the look and feel of your natural teeth, dental implants are perhaps the best option if that is your main concern.
Another reason dental implants are popular among patients is their durability. Compared to alternative options, dental implants last the longest, with most lasting 15 years or more. They also have the highest success rate, so you are less likely to have problems or have to make return trips to check in on the implant, at least when compared to the alternatives.
If natural-looking dental prosthetics and long-term durability are high on your list of concerns, then dental implants may be the best choice for you.
Implants for All Needs
Dental implants can be used to replace any number of missing teeth. In order to suit your specific needs, there are several types.
Single tooth implants A single tooth implant is used to replace one missing teeth in a specific area of your mouth. It is possible to have several single tooth implants in your mouth. One titanium rod is inserted, and used to support a single crown.
Multiple tooth implantsA multiple tooth implant (or implant supported bridge) is used to replace a section of missing teeth. One or more implants are used to support the necessary number of replacement crowns.
Implant supported denturesImplant supported dentures replace traditional dentures. 6 to 8 dental implants are used to support an arch of missing teeth, and hold the denture securely (and permanently) in place.
All on 4 Implant TreatmentDental implants rely on the fusion of your jawbone to the titanium for stability and success. However, once you lose your teeth, the bone in your jaw begins to resorb and grow weak. If there is insufficient bone mass, implants may fail. The All on 4 treatment concept is used instead of an implant supported denture when you don't have enough bone mass. Instead of relying on 6 to 8 implants, the success of this treatment relies on the strategic placement of just four dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants Made Of?
Before committing to the procedure, you might want to know more about the dental implant materials that are involved.
The implant itself is a titanium screw that is implanted into your jawbone. The screw replaces the root, serving as a foundation for a dental crown, the artificial tooth that will be placed on top of it.
That is essentially what an implant is: a metal screw that functions just like your tooth's roots. Because it is embedded deep into the gums, it remains hidden underneath the crown where nobody will see it or notice it.
Although this may seem like a perfect procedure, there are a few other things you should know before settling on a dental implant.
What do Dental Implants Cost? Are Dental Implants Covered By Insurance?
First, they are less likely to be covered by insurance than bridges or dentures, making their upfront cost potentially far higher. While the prospect of not having to return and replace them for a very long time is advantageous, the initial investment cost should be considered.
How Long Does the Dental Implant Process Take?
Additionally, the entire process from start to finish may take a long time, up to as long as six months following the initial surgery - longer than the alternatives
If you are concerned about the high costs and the amount of time it takes from start to finish, then in such cases, you might consider the alternatives or consult with a member of our team. You can also click the following link to read more about bridges vs. dental implants.
When Should You Get an Implant?
The most common reasons patients seek a tooth replacement are when they are experiencing pain, difficulty with speech, and changes to their chewing pattern as a result of worsening tooth decay.
If left untreated, the symptoms can grow worse and spread to other neighboring teeth, making extraction necessary. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are unsure, consult with a member of our team to determine if you should receive a dental implant.
How Do You Take Care of Dental Implants?
After receiving them, you might wonder how to maintain dental implants and protect your oral health and prevent further decay from affecting your other teeth.
Unlike dentures that require special cleaning routines to maintain them, dental implants do not require any extensive maintenance other than what you are already doing for your teeth.
In other words, to maintain your implants (specifically the crowns at the top), you should be consistently brushing, flossing, and rinsing them along with the rest of your natural teeth. While you should occasionally have them checked during your routine oral health checkups, they do not otherwise require any special care or maintenance.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer a number of different benefits over traditional tooth replacement options.
|| They are permanent, and don't need to be removed for any reason (unless they are damaged or need maintenance).
||They are easy to care for, and can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth.
||Because your replacement teeth are supported by implants instead of your gums, they are much more comfortable.
||One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they stimulate your jawbone, which helps to keep the bone healthy and strong. This prevents bone loss, which helps to maintain your facial shape, keep your natural teeth in place, and maintain a more youthful appearance.
||Dental implants restore the function of your teeth, the beauty of your smile, and your quality of life.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
If you are looking into replacing a missing or decaying tooth with an artificial one, you have several options available, depending on your specific needs.
Although dentures and dental bridges are great options due to their relative affordability (and in some cases, may be better suited to your specific needs than dental implants depending on your overall oral health), dental implants remain the most requested option among patients in the United States.
Dental implants can restore your confidence and help you regain any functionality that may have been lost. If appearance and a long-lasting solution are your primary concerns, consider dental implants over dentures or bridges.
What Should I Consider Before Getting Dental Implants?
The overall health of the dental implant candidate plays a crucial part in determining whether or not the surgery will be successful and the time it would take for the jawbone to heal.
Dr. Kindt is always happy to inform patients regarding the model and brand of dental implants used.
You should also consider that the whole dental implant procedure may take several months to finish, and in the meantime, you will have a temporary abutment to replace your tooth.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
You are a good candidate for dental implants if you have enough bone and healthy gums to withstand routine oral surgery.
However, those suffering from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, or those at risk of heart disease, are not suitable candidates for this type of surgery. Since the infection interferes with bone growth around the implant, periodontal diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis will result in poor bone healing.
What to Expect Before the Procedure
Dental implant surgery is a multistep procedure in which Timothy H. Kindt, DDS and our professional dental team will thoroughly evaluate and prepare patients for the process.
Candidates will have dental x-rays, and dentists will look at medical history to ensure any underlying conditions do not interfere with the process.
A treatment plan will then be devised according to your needs.
Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is performed in several outpatient steps, including removal of the damaged tooth, bone grafting and jawbone preparation, placement of the dental implant, bone healing around the implant, abutment placement, and finally, placement of the artificial teeth.
The process can take months to finish, as much of the time is devoted to bone healing and growth.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Typical swelling of gums or discomfort and pain at the dental implant site is expected, for which the dentist will recommend pain relievers and antibiotics.
You will be instructed to eat soft foods for at least a week after the surgery.
Schedule a Dental Implant Procedure with your Dentist in Mesa, AZ Today!
At Timothy H. Kindt, DDS we are highly skilled at dental implant surgery. We offer a careful examination and treatment plan before moving forward with the surgery. Call us at (480) 939-5818 with any questions you may have - or to book an appointment.