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Gentle Dental of Westland
825 S Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48186

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Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Why Should I Get Dental Implants?

If you feel that your smile isn’t the best it could be because of missing or damaged teeth, then dental implants could be the solution for you. The CDC states that most adults under the age of 65 are missing at least one permanent tooth and nearly 20 percent of those older than 65 are missing all of their teeth. Your teeth are essential to good health, so if you’re missing any, whether due to damage or disease, then implants could help you regain your health and your smile.

The three requirements for getting implants are:

  • You need good physical health
  • You need healthy gums
  • You need to have sufficient bone in your jaw

If you lack sufficient bone, we can perform a bone graft, but your surgeon will determine if you need a graft and if so, to what extent.

What’s Meant by Dental Implants?

Implants are artificial replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. They’re custom-made to the specifications of your natural teeth, so no one will know that they’re artificial.

There are two types of implants: endosteal implants, which are inserted into the jawbone, and subperiosteal implants, which are placed under the gum tissue. Both methods essentially perform the same function.

Implants are comprised of three sections:

  1. The body: The body of your implant, also called the post, is made from titanium, so it’s very strong and can accommodate a single tooth or several that are bridged together. Titanium is usually well accepted by the body, so your post should easily be assimilated through osseointegration, a process whereby the post fuses to your jawbone and becomes the base for your artificial tooth.
  2. The abutment: The abutment is the connector between your tooth and the post, and it’s installed after osseointegration is complete.
  3. The crown: The crown is the visible part of the artificial tooth, also called a prosthesis, and it’s the last step of the installation.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

The body of the implant functions like the root of a natural tooth. It anchors it to the gums and provides stability, and the abutment provides a basis for the crown. The crown looks just like your natural tooth, and it’s permanently affixed to the abutment, so you needn’t worry about it slipping or falling out. When performed by a qualified practitioner, implant surgery is one of the safest dental procedures you can have.

What Happens During Implant Surgery?

Your surgical procedure will be unique to you, but you can generally expect the following:

  • Removal of the damaged teeth, and other procedures that are deemed necessary, and then preparation of the site for surgery
  • A bone graft (if needed)
  • Installation of the body, which is the titanium post, and a minor graft if required
  • Allowing for healing and growth time of the jawbone
  • Installation of your abutment
  • Taking impressions for fabrication of the crowns
  • Attaching your crowns

The length of time needed for the whole process will depend on how fast your body heals, as well as the amount of work you’ve undergone.

Is Bone Grafting Necessary?

Your surgeon will evaluate your need for a bone graft. If you have a strong jawbone, then you likely won’t need it. If you need additional bone, we can graft it from another part of the body or use a bone-substitute material.

How Is the Implant Installed?

Your oral surgeon will make an incision in your gum to expose the jawbone, drill a hole in the bone, and insert the post into the hole. The site will be sutured closed and then you’ll wait for osseointegration to occur, which may take a few months.

How Is the Abutment Attached?

Once osseointegration has occurred, another incision will be made in the gum and the abutment will be attached to the post. It will take about two weeks for the incision to heal, then you’ll return so we can make impressions of your teeth and jaw, which will be used for the fabrication of your crowns.

How Is the Crown Attached?

When your crowns are complete, you’ll return to have them attached. If you’re getting removable crowns, they’ll come in pink plastic gums that snap onto the abutment, allowing them to be easily removed for cleaning. If you’re getting fixed crowns, we’ll adjust them for fit and comfort and then permanently affix them to the abutments.

What Will I Need After the Surgery?

You’ll probably experience some minor discomfort after the procedure, such as minor bleeding, swelling, discomfort, and pain. We’ll provide you with tips on alleviating any pain and discomfort and prescribe pain medication if necessary. Your symptoms shouldn’t last for more than a few days, but call us if they do.

Are There Any Drawbacks, in Addition to the Benefits, of Getting Implants?

The main drawback of implants is their initial cost, which may not be covered by dental insurance. Another drawback is the necessity for surgery. Some people aren’t good candidates for surgery, so there could be a reaction to the anesthesia, the risk of infection, damage to the surrounding teeth, and injury to the jawbone. Plus, implants aren’t a quick procedure. The entire process can span several months, so you need to have patience.

However, most people who have gotten implants feel that they made the correct choice and believe that, in the long run, their implants ended up being more cost effective. With dentures, there’s a constant need to buy cleaning and soaking solutions, costs to replace broken or worn-out dentures, and the mess and cost of adhesives. With implants, you’ll have clear speech, you can eat your favorite foods, you don’t worry about them falling out at an embarrassing moment, and you always have a full set of teeth in your mouth.

Can My Local Dentist Install Implants?

Installation of implants requires an extensive amount of training, education, and experience and many general dentists lack the necessary qualifications. If you’re interested in getting implants, be sure to select a surgeon who’s board-certified and will provide you with their qualifications.

If you’d like to have a consultation with an oral surgeon who’s experienced in implants or if you need any other dental procedure, please call our office. You can also schedule an appointment online using our booking tool. We always strive to provide our patients with the best dental care possible, so contact us today.

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Gentle Dental of Westland

825 S Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48186

(734) 329-5284