Dental implants are helping a growing number of people enjoy better oral health, as well as freedom from annoying dentures, partial plates, and other dental devices. In fact, more than $3.7 billion dollars was spent on dental implant procedures globally in 2016, and the trend continues to expand. If you want to learn more about dental implants, read on.
Understanding the important job performed by a dental implant
Designed to be long-term replacements for damaged or missing permanent teeth, a dental implant can do more than just improve the ability to masticate food and offer a winning smile. Implanted teeth are better able to force natural teeth to retain proper spacing by filling the space vacated by the missing or damaged tooth or teeth.
Additionally, dental implants can help to keep the bones of the jaw and face in proper proportion. Their placement in the jawline prevents the jawline from compressing and may even help to eliminate or slow the progression of painful temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Understanding the process required for a successful dental implant
Although the procedures and even the materials used for the implants have undergone many improvements over the years, dental patients interested in a dental implant should know that the process does require a commitment of time. The amount of time needed can vary, but for most patients it is somewhere around six months, although it can be longer if complications arise. The reason for the amount of time is mostly due to the time needed for jaw bone healing after the root of the implant is inserted.
The first stage of the dental process can also include bone grafting. During the first few months after a permanent tooth is removed or lost, bone loss amounts can be significant enough to make dental implantation difficult or impossible. This problem is addressed by grafting new bone to the area to strengthen and reinforce it sufficiently to be able to support one or more dental implants. If the implant is scheduled quickly after the removal of a tooth, the bone loss may be averted, and the time and expense of the implant process may be lessened.
To learn more about dental implants, including the procedures and materials commonly used, dental patients should consider visiting the offices of the dental professional who will be handling their implant, such as Dental Design SD. While there, be sure to meet the staff and ask to see the sample implant models so that you can better understand the procedure and how it will affect you.