Back in the day, if you lost one or more teeth, the most common way to replace them was to get artificial teeth through dentures. I am sure you have memories, like I do, of our grandparents removing them when brushing their teeth. But as science and dentistry developed, there came newer and more permanent options for filling out those empty spaces in your mouth. Nowadays, through dental implants, you can have artificial teeth anchored into your jaw. They cannot be removed, and are more natural-looking at the same time. They will also feel and work like real ones.
However, the process of getting dental implants includes surgical or invasive procedures. When I was looking at the cost of going through the treatment, sure I was shocked at how much it costs here. Although there are offers abroad for “cheaper” options than here in Australia, I really had my doubts. Though I was tempted to save a bit of money by doing it somewhere else, I didn’t want anyone else except a professional from a dental clinic to conduct such a delicate procedure. Not only can I trust the quality of their training and experience here, but they are also accredited and governed by the health regulations upheld by the Australian Dental Association. In such a surgery, it is best to be assured and protected.
When I think about it, getting a dental implant is an investment. Since I am still quite young, I will be able to use it for a few more decades. And to be honest, I thought that having dentures was something for very old people. I wanted to be able to keep having a full mouth of teeth that can still function normally so I can still bite and eat my favorite foods. My dentist explained as well that it will protect the teeth beside my missing one so that they will not be prone to decay or damage. This is why in the end, I decided to spend the money on this permanent solution.
There are additional advantages of going for implants. First of all, they will never decay, so they will last for as long as I do. They are also comfortable and prevent the loss of bone in the area. This means my jaw is maintained and I will not have sunken cheeks. Even speaking can be affected when you do not replace lost teeth.
If you have decided, like I have, that going for a dental implant is the way to go, this is what you can expect:
When you visit your dentist for the first time, your dentist will evaluate the state of your bone and gums. He/she will have to determine that you are a good candidate for the procedure. Once this is settled, the experts in your dental practice will explain the next steps carefully. You will also be scheduled for the following appointments that will slowly lead to restoring that full mouth of teeth.
Your first surgery will be conducted during your next visit. They will be placing the implant into your jawbone. This is normally made of titanium or titanium alloy so that it will be completely sturdy and long lasting. Then you will have to wait around 2 to 4 months before the next step.
After this time, they will conduct x-rays to make sure that these implants were able to fuse with your bones. At this time, a collar, or called an abutment, is placed on the implant for around 1 to 2 weeks to make sure gums will continue to heal properly.
In your next visit, the stitches and the abutment will be take away and final tooth impressions will be made for the crown that will be prepared. In the meantime, a temporary crown and another abutment will be placed. This is to give your gums some time to heal, so once again you will have to wait 1 to 2 weeks.
Finally, your permanent crown is ready to be fixed on the implant. Once done, you can finally enjoy having a complete set of teeth again! Your permanent crown is made of porcelain, making it look and feel like an ordinary tooth so you might even not notice the difference anymore after a while.
Although the process seems lengthy and difficult, in reality, there is no better way to replace tooth and bone that has been lost. It is also to make your new tooth more stable and act like original ones. And since it is such an invasive and intricate procedure, it really is worth it having it done at a respectable and qualified dental practice. However, the second you see your new set of teeth, you will be overcome, like me, with a feeling that the long wait and the cost are truly worth it!
Posted in Oral Health by Crystal Luera with .