Overland Park Dental Implants – Permanently Restore Missing Teeth
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is anchored in the bone of your jaw in order to replace a damaged root and support a prosthetic tooth. Perhaps you have lost a tooth, or more than one tooth, due to gum disease or an accident. If that is the case, then dental implants could be the ideal solution.
Of course, you could also consider bridgework or dentures, but if you have no medical conditions (diabetes or cancer, for example) that could preclude the installation of implants, they are usually the more satisfactory choice. Realistically, modern dentures do not slip if they are properly fitted, but they also do not do anything to prevent bone loss in your jaw, and bone loss does, unfortunately, go hand in hand with tooth loss. With implants, the underlying bone is actually strengthened, and that simply means better oral health. Additionally, you will be able to eat all the foods you loved before you lost your teeth, because implants function exactly the same way.
Implant surgery is done using a local anesthetic, so you won’t feel any pain. The titanium screw is attached to your jawbone where your original tooth once was, and as soon as the surrounding area heals, an artificial tooth or crown is placed.
Implants can replace just one tooth or many teeth. Often, several prosthetic teeth can be supported by only a couple of implants. Depending on how many teeth are missing and how long it takes for you to heal, you can usually have fully functional, natural-looking teeth in as few as three months. The worst-case scenario is that it could take up to eight months. Single tooth, multi-tooth, implant-supported dentures, and implant bridges are all types of implants that can restore full functionality. Most patients experience many benefits of the procedure.
Caring for Your Implants
Dental implants will never decay, and the procedure has a 98% success rate. Two things can cause implant failure. The first is nothing more or less than what damages your natural teeth – poor oral care. This is why aftercare is especially important. Even though implants are impervious to decay, you still have to be vigilant about brushing and flossing and getting regular professional cleanings. That is because your gums are still vulnerable, and a buildup of plaque under the gum line can cause gingivitis. That can weaken the surrounding structure and lead to implant failure.
The other thing that could cause damage to your implants is excessive biting pressure. Actually, the damage isn’t to the implants themselves – not much can harm titanium – but to the prosthetic teeth. They are made of porcelain, which is a material very much like your natural teeth, and porcelain is just as vulnerable to biting and grinding. Much of the time, people do not even realize that they are grinding their teeth – they do it in their sleep. If you sleep alone, no one is going to tell you that you are doing it, but if you wake up with pain in your jaw in the morning, that is a tip-off that you could be a nighttime grinder. If you suspect that is the case, Dr. Headley can fit you with a night guard that will protect your implants from becoming damaged. Don’t be fooled by the many misconceptions about dental implants. If you follow our aftercare instructions, you can expect your dental implants to last a long time.
If you have damaged or missing teeth, and you would like to find out if you are a good candidate for implants, contact KC Smile in Overland Park at 913-491-6874 to arrange a consultation. You can also use the Contact Us page to request an appointment. If you have a question, refer to our FAQs page. Take our quiz to test your dental implants knowledge!