Missing teeth can be a part of life for people of any age. Regardless of whether you have lost a tooth due to an injury or decay, dental implants allow you to live an entirely normal life free from concerns about your teeth. With proper care, dental implants will last a lifetime and provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional bridges or dentures. Here we’ll cover nine important things you need to know before obtaining a dental implant in Houston.
Why did I Loss My Teeth?
Full loss of teeth is known as total edentulism, and it occurs in a large proportion of the population of adults. Generally, it can occur as after tooth extractions are necessary from either decay, gum disease, or because a patient has not been able to afford the costs associated with dental treatment.
In general, people lose their teeth due to cavities and gum disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures indicate that by late teenage years, about 7 percent of American report the loss of at least one permanent tooth. Gums are crucial in attaching to teeth at along the gum edge. If plaque is trapped in the gum space, gingivitis (gum infection can occur). As it continues to cover the teeth, it can become harder in the process of becoming tartar. When gingivitis becomes involved in infection under the gum, sometimes gums weaken and soft tissue and bone holding the teeth are damaged. As infection continues, patients can eventually lose teeth or end up at the dentist’s office asking for it to be removed.
Just as in other types of physical ailments, total loss of teeth occurs as a patient grows older. The possibility of edentulism grows steadily over each decade as a patient enters adulthood and increases by even more after the patient turns 70, according to research.
Health problem and oral disease
Health concerns can play a role as people experience plaque build-up with caries occurring as enamel is lost to bacteria inside the oral cavity. When gums become red and sometimes infected, gums are weakened and tissues that serve to hold teeth can become loose and teeth later fall out due to lack of support. Periodontal issues are the most prevalent cause of edentulism in elderly populations, with difficulties experienced over time. Indeed, total edentulism throughout the globe includes about two out of ten people by the time a person turns 60. There is a great variation among nations, however.
A key determiner of total edentulism is thought to be education levels of various segments of populations. In Canada, for instance, half of the people with less education experience edentulism while those who went to university experience very low rate of less than five percent.
Oral disease rate
In the US, figures indicate edentulous rates of more than two out of ten people who did not complete the eighth grade. Just one out of 10 is edentulous if having completed up to 11th grade and even lower for high school graduates. Just 5 percent of people with more than high school a high school diploma suffer from the condition. About 12 million US adults are edentulous in one jaw area. Surveys found that total tooth loss in both jaws is a reality for almost eight percent of adults, a number that approaches 20 million individuals. A patient’s total income, as well as educational attainment, is shown by researchers to play a part in edentulism rates.
Younger people who experience the benefits if growing knowledge and better tooth restoration methods are less edentulous. The individual’s sex does not appear to factor in, however.
Loss of teeth can play a part in speech difficulties since many sounds are made with the tongue and lips hitting teeth in various pronounced words. Loss of teeth can affect an edentulous person’s ability to pronounce some specific sounds. Oral health concerns and edentulism extend to a patient’s overall well-being, including both physiology and psychology as they relate to life quality and lifespan. You can read more on our blogs about these factors.
Dental Implants Terminology
When a decayed or damaged tooth is removed, both the visible portion (referred to as the crown) and the root will be lost. Houston dental implant providers help improve your quality of life by allowing you to continue to laugh, play, smile, eat and more without giving a second thought to your replacement teeth. Because they fuse with your natural jawbone, dental implants provide a highly sturdy foundation for one or more missing teeth and are a superior option to bridges or crowns in the vast majority of cases. The following terms will help you understand more about dental implants:
- Dental implant – The technical term for the portion of the replacement tooth which will fuse with your jawbone and serve as a substitute for your missing root(s). Implants are tapered and cylindrical in shape and are typically made of titanium.
- Abutment – A connector which is placed on top of the dental implant to attach one or more replacement teeth to their new foundation.
- Crown – The visible portion of the custom created replacement tooth or teeth designed to match the appearance of your natural teeth.
Are Dental Implants Suitable for Everyone?
Dental implants in Houston are typically an excellent option for anyone with a mature jawbone which has lost anywhere from one to all of their teeth due to decay, disease, an injury or a defect. The jawbones of most teenagers stop growing at around age 16 for girls and 18 for boys, making dental implants a viable option for young adults who have lost a tooth due to an injury. Scheduling a consultation with an implant dentistry specialist allows your particular situation and medical history to be reviewed before receiving a professional decision regarding dental implant suitability.
Dental Implants Work by Fusing With Your bone
Dental implants function exactly like natural teeth and can be cared for with normal brushing, flossing, check-ups, and cleanings because they osseointegrate, or fuse, into your natural jawbone. After developing a treatment plan with your Houston dental implant provider, the replacement process is accomplished in several stages:
- An implant is surgically placed into your jawbone to serve as the foundation for either a single crown or dentures when multiple teeth need replacement. During your healing, you’ll be able to continue to live life in a healthy manner. Anywhere from several weeks to several months later, the implant and your jawbone will have fused or grown together and will be ready to provide a highly sturdy foundation for your replacement teeth.
- The abutment, or small connector, is placed onto the implant after osseointegration is complete.
- Your new replacement tooth (or implant supported bridge or dentures in the case of multiple replacement teeth) is attached to the abutment.
Different Types of Dental Implants Are Available
Obtaining the best dental implant in Houston to meet your needs is a process best undertaken with the help of a dental implant specialist who will thoroughly examine the tooth or teeth in need of replacement before providing his or her recommendation. Dental implants are available in different sizes and heights, including standard and narrow widths to provide a good mouth fit and match to your remaining natural teeth. Either of the following types of implants may be suggested:
- Endosteal implants – With the appearance of small screws, plates or cylinders, endosteal implants are surgically placed into the jawbone where they will osseointegrate as healing occurs. They are the most commonly used dental implants.
- Subperiosteal implants – Patients with a shallow jawbone who are unable or unwilling to undergo the process of jawbone rebuilding may be well suited to a subperiosteal implant which is placed under the gum but above or on top of the jawbone itself.
Upper and lower jaw implants
Those with both upper and lower arch tooth loss accounts for about 17 percent of US adults. That means to problem matches the total number of Canadian citizens. While the advances in dentistry continue to see the level of edentulism fall as 10-year intervals pass, older Americans show a growing need for either single or full denture. By 2020, as many as 39 million adults will require them, research projections indicate.
As more becomes known about affordable dental implants and their advantages in regard to the negative aspects of dentures, more people are choosing to have implants to help overcome their edentulism. Patients cite improved chewing, less discomfort, and improved dental function and health. Additionally, the distinct cosmetic benefits are of growing importance to many who choose implants as a solution to their edentulism.
A Superior Option For Replacement Teeth
Dental implants are often the first choice when it comes to replacement teeth as they look, function and feel just like natural teeth and provide the following benefits:
- Dental implants offer a permanent solution. Unlike bridges and dentures which inevitably need replacement over time, dental implants are a permanent solution that, with proper care, will continue to provide year after year of hassle-free speaking, eating, smiling, laughing, playing and more.
- The ability to retain your natural smile and lifestyle. Because dental implants fuse with your jawbone, your natural face shape and smile will be maintained. A smile without teeth may appear shrunken or sad, but this is never the case with implants. You’ll be able to continue with your lifestyle in an entirely normal way without concern over your teeth or what foods you are eating.
- Protects your jawbone and remaining natural teeth. Implants stimulate natural bone growth and protect your jawbone from deterioration. This, in turn, provides protection and stability for your remaining natural teeth by keeping your jawbone firm and strong. No grinding of your natural teeth will be required (unlike during placement of a traditional tooth supported bridge).
- The ability to care for your teeth in a healthy manner. Dental implants should be cared for with the same methods of brushing, flossing, professional cleanings and check-ups required for natural teeth.
- No more cavities. Implant restored crowns or replacement teeth are not subject to decay like natural teeth (although they do require the same methods of care as they are still subject to normal wear and tear).
- More predictable results. Unlike other treatment methods which are prone to failures such as bridgework, removable appliances and root canals (endodontic therapy), a dental implant in Houston provides far more predictable and reliable results.
Implant Supported Denture Choices
Dentures that are supported by implants are more and more common solutions, too. While a typical denture sits on the patient’s gums, they do not attach to any structure. Implant-supported dentures mean just that: the denture is held in place but implants inserted into the patient’s jaw and attachments hold onto the denture.
Such implant-supported appliances can be employed if a patient has no teeth in his/her jaw and if there is enough bone available to support the implant process. Such procedures are generally used by being inserted into the lower jaw which is more stable in holding the dentures in place. Upper dentures fitted properly are found to be more stable than lower ones and don’t always need additional support through implant placements. Nonetheless, some patients want or require both lower and upper implants. Each Omega Dental Specialists clinician is highly trained to make this determination to allow patients to make the most optimal decision for their implants.
Affordable Dental Implants in Houston
Since every situation is unique, the overall number of appointments and procedures required to complete the entire dental implant process varies from person to person. Your dental implant expert will be able to provide an estimate of the total cost after an initial consultation, but considering that dental implants offer a permanent solution, they tend to be no more expensive than the total lifetime costs incurred with bridges and dentures that need periodic replacement and are more prone to failure. Patient satisfaction also tends to be much higher with dental implants compared to other methods.
Additionally, insurance companies are beginning to cover all or part of the costs of dental implants. If your provider does not provide this coverage, you may be able to request an allowance equal to the cost of traditional bridgework or dentures. Financing options are available through your Houston dental implant expert, making them a highly viable option in most cases.
A Safe and Effective Option for Tooth Replacement
Dental implants have been in use for more than 30 years and have been proven to be an extremely safe and efficient method for tooth replacement. Most implants are created from a biocompatible material known as titanium which is readily accepted by the body and fuses with your natural jawbone, Once fused, implants provide a stable platform on which to attach replacement teeth. It is also the only method of tooth replacement that stimulates the growth of natural bone, protecting your jawbone from deterioration and allowing you to care for and use your replacement teeth in an entirely normal manner.
When performed by a highly skilled professional, the surgical process utilized during the implantation phase is one of the safest methods used in the field of dentistry and provides extremely predictable results. You will be able to continue living your life in a normal way during the healing phase, after which point your implant will have fused into your natural jawbone.
A Great Option in the Majority of Cases
Anyone with a mature jawbone which is in good health is a likely candidate for dental implants. Regardless of whether you need replacement teeth due to an injury, decay, gum (periodontal) disease or another reason, or were born with one or more missing teeth, dental implants provide a great option with many benefits compared to traditional bridges and dentures. You’ll need to schedule a consultation with a dental implant expert who can review your medical and dental history before making a decision regarding the suitability of dental implants in your situation. Make sure to mention if you are a smoker and are taking any prescription or over the counter medications, as well as any medical conditions you are aware of.
Dental Implants Require the Same Care as Natural Teeth
Caring for your dental implant in Houston is the same as caring for your natural teeth. Because dental implants permanently remain in your mouth, you’ll be able to brush and floss normally. Be sure to schedule regular appointments for cleanings and check-ups to ensure the longevity of both your replacement and remaining natural teeth, as implants are subject to the same wear and tear as natural teeth.
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