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What Are Dental Implants – A Detailed Look by Aspire Dental Wellness Experts

female doctor pointing at tooth model while consulting patient, copy space

Reclaiming your radiant smile with dental implants may sound like a dream come true. But what are dental implants exactly? What does the procedure entail? Who’s a good candidate for it? Such questions mark the beginning of this transformative journey for many.

Dental implants are artificial devices placed within the jawbone during a surgical procedure, designed to enhance both your smile and chewing capabilities. They serve as anchors to dental crowns, bridges, and dentures, with which they are connected through a piece called an abutment.

Who Needs Dental Implants? Who Can Benefit From This Procedure?

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, nearly 3 million people in the United States have undergone this restorative procedure. Moreover, this number grows by 500,000 each year. This trend underscores implant surgery as a favored option for those missing one or more teeth.

Losing a tooth isn’t just about aesthetics, though. It can lead to serious complications, from rapid bone loss and speech issues to altered chewing habits that may cause discomfort. Therefore, opting for this solution can drastically enhance a patient’s life quality and overall health, especially if it’s addressed head-on.

Implants vs. Dentures – What’s the Key Difference?

When replacing missing teeth, both dentures and implants stand out as effective solutions. Dentures, which are removable teeth replacements, have long been used to fill empty spaces in a smile. However, implants step up as a superior solution in most cases, offering plenty of advantages:

  • Feel and look more like your natural teeth,
  • Spare you the nightly removal routine,
  • Boast a higher success rate,
  • Minimize the risk of cavities,
  • Help maintain jawbone density,
  • Prevent the jawbone from shrinking due to bone loss,
  • Keep nearby teeth stable.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

These artificial devices are crafted from materials that meet the rigorous standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The most commonly used materials include:

  • Titanium,
  • Zirconium oxide,
  • Gold alloys,
  • Cobalt-based alloys,
  • Titanium alloys,
  • Ceramic materials.

But what are the best dental implants crafted from? Well, thanks to its exceptional strength, titanium is probably the most reliable choice. It’s highly resistant to fractures and built to last a lifetime, which is why it’s often the go-to solution.

A dentist explaining the procedure to a patient
Your dentist in Charlotte, NC, is dedicated to finding the best solution for you

What Are the Two Main Types of Dental Implants?

Dental implants come in two basic types – endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants, the most widely used type, are directly inserted into the jawbone, offering a sturdy base for one or more artificial teeth.

On the other hand, subperiosteal implants are placed atop the jawbone. This method is preferred for patients whose jawbones lack sufficient height, providing a viable alternative to support dental prosthetics.

What Are Mini Dental Implants?

Mini dental implants mirror the design of their larger counterparts yet, as the name suggests, come in a more compact size. They feature a one-piece screw, slender at less than 3mm in diameter, capped with a ball-shaped end that stands out from the jawbone.

Although they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution, mini implants present a less invasive option compared to conventional methods. This is because they sit above the gum line, while traditional devices require placement beneath the gums.

How Does Dental Implant Surgery Work?

The process begins with your periodontist in Charlotte, NC, inserting a screw-like device into the jawbone, serving as a stable base for an artificial tooth, most commonly a crown. This piece is tailor-made to seamlessly blend into your mouth, matching your natural teeth in color and appearance. An abutment securely links the crown to the implant, completing the setup.

While this is the general outline of what you can expect from this procedure, the journey will be unique for each patient. This is due to numerous factors, including:

  • The number of teeth needing replacement,
  • The specific location within the jaw,
  • The quality of bone at the location,
  • The individual’s oral health and overall well-being,
  • The implementation of innovative methods such as advanced laser dentistry.

Are There Any Risks Involved in the Procedure?

While implants offer significant improvements in quality of life and oral health, the procedure is not without its concerns. These complications can manifest shortly after placement or emerge later on. Here are some potential outcomes:

  • Nerve damage,
  • Incision opening,
  • Implant movement,
  • Implant exposure above the gum line,
  • Infection of the area.

In some cases, these complications can lead to implant failure, which is characterized by looseness or loss of the device. This requires further surgical intervention to enhance bone and gum health or replace the implant. If you want to ensure peace of mind, make sure you come for regular dental cleanings and exams.

Dr. Sladjana Bjelac in front of the Aspire Dental Wellness sign
An experienced specialist by your side will help mitigate the risks

How Long Does Recovery After a Dental Implant Surgery Take?

Recovery times after the surgery can vary greatly, depending on the exact scenario. Many individuals are able to return to normal activities the next day. However, it typically takes several months for the jawbone to fully fuse around the implant in a process called osseointegration. This is crucial for the long-term success of the procedure and the stability of the inserted device.

Your Charlotte, NC, dentist at Aspire Dental Wellness will monitor your progress periodically following the placement. Once osseointegration is complete, the artificial tooth can be safely added. From then on, it’s all about regular visits for dental cleaning and exams.

Unleash Your Smile’s Potential With Aspire Dental Wellness!

Ready to transform your smile into a masterpiece of confidence and comfort? Our team at Aspire Dental Wellness, led by Dr. Sladjana Bjelac, is more than committed to providing you with a personalized experience every step of the way. Contact us and reserve an appointment today, making the first step toward unlocking your smile’s true potential! Your trusted Charlotte dentist in South Park will be honored to share the journey with you.

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