The Use of Dental Implants for Cosmetic Reasons
- April 9, 2014
Many people in the United States are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth; lack of care, medical conditions, genetics and bad nutrition can cause teeth to be stained, chipped, cracked, uneven, decayed or otherwise less than perfect. Since approximately 74% of Americans feel that their poor teeth can have an impact on their career, cosmetic dentistry has become a booming industry.
The most popular cosmetic dental procedure involves tooth whitening, but more intensive treatments are needed when teeth are lost or must be removed due to extensive decay. One such treatment is dental implants, which are the only devices that allow for a natural look and feel. In most cases, the dental implants actually act like real teeth after surgical placement. Most people want to know how much dental implants cost, but they need to understand the implants first.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are two-part devices that are placed in the mouth by a cosmetic dentist or oral surgeon. The implant contains two or sometimes three pieces: a root which is implanted in the jawbone, an abutment, and then a crown, which resembles a natural tooth. The dental implant root is made from titanium, and after it is surgically implanted, the patient’s bone heals around it, securing it in place. On top of the root, usually connected by an abutment, sits an artificial tooth made from porcelain. A high-quality dental implant is indistinguishable from the patient’s natural teeth, and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Who Can Receive Dental Implants?
The cosmetic dentist will evaluate a patient to see if they are a good candidate for dental implant suregery. This evaluation allows the dentist to look at the structure of the jaw and the general condition of the mouth. Jaw bone density and bone loss are two of the primary concerns when a dentist is evaluating a patient, and the dentist will also look for gingivitis and gum loss. Additionally, a patient’s general health must be considered, since the implant procedure is a surgical one, and necessitates general anesthesia. If anesthesia cannot be offered, then a flapless implant procedure may be appropriate.
What Can You Expect During Dental Implantation?
After the evaluation, the dentist will discuss all aspects of the procedure with the patient: its cost, the length of time it will take, the healing process, and what the patient can expect from the surgery. The procedure involves the cutting of the gums just above the implant site. This reveals the jaw bone, into which the surgeon will drill to create a hole for the implant root. Once the titanium root, which resembles a screw, is inserted into the newly created socket, the patient’s gums are stitched. Recovery takes several weeks, during which time the bone will heal around the root. The dentist will continue to monitor the patient for infection and rejection, but if all goes well, the abutment and crown can be attached in the final steps of the process.
Interested in implant surgery?
The first step is to discuss the possibilities with your cosmetic dentist.