If you’re a normal human being, then being told you need ‘dental implants’ might spark some nervous outcry. After all, it does sound alarming, but don’t worry. Dental implants are actually a lot more common than you might think, and while it is a surgical procedure, they are often the best solution (when needed) and completely unnoticeable.
Essentially, they are metal posts which are surgically positioned beneath your gums and into your jawbone which allows a replacement tooth (a crown) to be attached. They are ultimately used to provide stable support for any artificial teeth because no one wants any gaps. And, since they resemble your natural teeth, you can continue to smile with pride.
When might you need them?
Dental implants are more often than not used to replace missing teeth and this procedure has become a lot more popular due to its series of advantages. Missing teeth can make people feel a lot less confident and can even affect the way you eat and speak, so getting this fixed straight away is important.
If you have a severely cracked or broken tooth, then an implant might be your only option. These can’t be fixed naturally, but your dentist can determine whether there is any need for a replacement tooth.
Implants are also a perfect alternative to dentures simply because you will no longer have to worry about them falling out and becoming loose throughout the day. Gone are those days!
You have an infected tooth. In this case, if your tooth can’t be fixed, then you may need to get it extracted, in which case a dental implant might be your next best option. But don’t worry – the implant will look and function like the rest of your healthy teeth.
While there are other ways of resolving these issues, getting a dental implant is sought out to be one of the most effective and convenient fixes. Aside from having a full set of teeth again, they feel and look like natural teeth, the function the same way as your natural teeth and they last a long time. Essentially, they improve your overall oral health.
How does it work?
As many surgical things do, the process sounds a lot more complicated and terrifying than it actually is, but don’t start panicking. Essentially, your dentist will drill a small hole into your jawbone (don’t worry, you will be sedated) and then they will carefully screw the base into the bone where the replacement tooth will be mounted. The only visible part to this procedure is, in fact, the crown – your gums will hide the base, so no one will ever have to know that you have artificial teeth…though it’s really not something to worry about.
After the procedure…
Sadly, once the procedure is done and dusted, you won’t be completely perfect and pain-free. The jawbone has been exposed and drilled into, so there is likely to be some swelling and possible bruising after the surgery, but don’t fret. On the bright side, this can usually be treated with a few simple fixes. Taking some painkillers, as well as a course of antibiotics will help avoid any possibility of infection and/or pain. Side note: rinsing your mouth with salt water can also be extremely helpful in getting rid of any pain despite how unappealing it may currently sound…
Let’s talk about costs…
Unfortunately, there is no exact price on how many dental implants cost. The prices ultimately depend on what you have, how many implants you need, how long the procedure will take, all sorts. There’s always more to this surgery than just fixing in a replacement tooth and these procedures can undeniably be very time-consuming and in need of highly trained specialists (especially if you want to get it done correctly). While there’s no exact figure, a single implant can cost between £700 – £3000 when taking in the extra costs. You can opt for cheaper options, but would you really want to go for the cheapest when it’s such an important procedure?
Personally, we recommend going around different companies and getting opinions and prices from several specialists. After that, you can consider which ones the best options are and question any organization that is offering this procedure at a much cheaper rate.
Do dental implants last forever?
For the cost, you might be hoping that these do last forever…and providing you look after them properly, dental implants can last for over 25 years. But, for this to happen, you need to ensure you partake in the standard dental hygiene (which, ideally, we were all doing anyway), such as daily flossing and brushing twice a day. Avoiding chewing or opening things with your teeth will also help you implants last longer. Dental implants aren’t likely to come loose easily if done correctly, but using your teeth as tools will ultimately affect their lifespan.
Most importantly, making sure you visit your dentist regularly (at least twice a year) for check-ups will ensure your dental implants are healthy and functioning correctly. The only time’s implants will need replacing is if they were to become loose and develop an infection, but your dentist should keep on top of this if you make regular visits a top priority.