After getting hit in the face during a game, you suddenly realize “I am missing one tooth.” Unfortunately, you aren’t able to get to the dentist in time, and you’re left with a gap in your smile. What can you do about it? Ignoring it is never a good idea – especially if the empty space is making it hard to chew or speak clearly – and while dentures and bridges can help, they come with disadvantages of their own. In many cases, there’s one tooth replacement option that stands out for both dentists and patients: dental implants.
What is a Dental Implant?
By itself, a dental implant isn’t the actual replacement tooth. It’s a post that serves as the “root” for a prosthetic. Implants are usually made out of titanium (which is highly biocompatible), but if you have metal allergies, they can also be made out of zirconia.
An implant is surgically placed in the jaw. Over the course of several months, it’ll gradually join with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Once this is complete, it’ll be ready to support the crown that will take the place of your tooth.
Why Do Dentists Recommend Dental Implants?
There are several reasons why dental implants have become so widely recommended over the years:
- Stopping Bone Loss: The area of the jawbone where a tooth has been lost will naturally start to break down, causing your other teeth to shift and your face to appear sunken. Dental implants are the only kind of restoration that prevents this from happening by replacing the tooth’s roots.
- Extremely Lifelike: Not only will the crown look natural in your mouth, but the implant itself will feel as comfortable as your real teeth.
- Full Diet: A dental implant will let you safely chew and eat all of your favorite meals again.
- Longevity: Other kinds of dental restorations will last about 5 to 15 years, but a high-quality implant often has a lifespan of 20 or 30 years. In fact, if you take good care of it, it may even last for the rest of your life!
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
When you ask your dentist “How can I replace a missing tooth?”, they’ll need to determine whether you’re a good candidate for implants. For the surgery to work, your gums need to be healthy; an infection could lead to failure. Also, your jaw might not be strong enough to support implants if too much bone loss has already happened, but you might still be able to have the procedure done if you get bone grafts.
Make sure you explore all of your options and ask your dentist plenty of questions. Dental implants can be life-changing, so if they’re available you’ll definitely want to consider them as an option for repairing your smile!
About the Practice
At Bethel Dental, our experienced dentists use modern technology in order to provide our patients with high-quality care that they can be satisfied with. We offer dental implants to help replace missing teeth, whether it’s just one tooth or an entire arch. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or a consultation at our practice in Accra, visit our website today.