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Are you currently missing a tooth? That little gap in your smile can have a big impact on your oral and overall health. Teeth issues can cause premature aging, increase your risk of tooth decay, and hurt your self-confidence.
Instead of hiding your smile, talk to your dentist about receiving an endosteal implant. Not sure if dental implant surgery is right for you? Read on to learn more about the procedure today.
What Is an Endosteal Implant?
An endosteal implant is one of the two primary types of dental implants available. It’s surgically placed into a patient’s upper or lower jawbone.
The implant functions as a replacement for your tooth root. The artificial root can hold a replacement tooth (a dental crown). Endosteal implants are the most common type requested, as they offer more stability.
These implants are usually made using titanium. The implant is shaped like a small screw. It will protrude through our gums to hold a replacement tooth.
Endosteal vs Subperiosteal
Schedule a consultation appointment with your dentist to determine which type of dental implant suits your needs. Your dentist can review the pros of endosteal implants vs subperiosteal implants.
When endosteal implants are placed in the jawbone, subperiosteal implants are placed on or above the jawbone. Your dentist may recommend this option if your jawbone isn’t healthy enough to support an implant.
A subperiosteal implant will protrude through your gum to hold a replacement tooth. This option may not provide the stability you need.
During your consultation appointment, your dentist will determine if you’re an ideal candidate for dental implant surgery. They’ll also determine if endosteal implants are the best option based on your needs.
To determine if you’re an ideal candidate, they’ll consider if you:
- Are in good general health
- Have good oral health
- Have healthy gum tissue
- Are unable to wear dentures
- Have enough bone in your jaw
- Have a fully grown jawbone
- Don’t have pre-existing conditions
Let your dentist know if you use tobacco products or recently had periodontal disease. You’ll also need to commit time to this procedure. The process of healing and waiting for new bone to grow can take months.
If you’re not an ideal candidate for dental implant surgery, your dentist can recommend alternative treatments.
For example, bone augmentation involves restoring the bone in your jaw. Your dentist may use growth factors or bone additives.
Ridge expansion involves adding bone graft material to the top of your jaw. Sinus augmentation involves adding bone below the sinus. These methods can make your jawbone strong enough to sustain an endosteal implant.
Dental implants can restore your smile, improving your quality of life. When there’s a gap in your smile, it gives food particles and bacteria more room to hide. Plaque, bacteria, and saliva can mix together to create plaque.
Plaque is a clear substance that can stick on and between your teeth. It can release acid, leading to cavity formation.
Over time, plaque can harden into tartar and get below your gum line. Your risk of periodontal (gum) disease could also increase.
Meanwhile, your surrounding teeth will start shifting toward the gap. Your teeth can appear crooked. As your teeth shift, your ability to bite and chew could change.
You may notice it’s more difficult to consume your favorite foods. When food isn’t chewed thoroughly, your digestive system will need to work twice as hard.
When your jawbone lacks stimulation from your teeth, it can start absorbing bone. Your jawbone could shrink, causing wrinkles to develop. Your cheeks may sink inward.
An endosteal implant will close the gap in your smile. You’ll have an easier time brushing, flossing, and maintaining good oral hygiene.
The implant will restore your ability to chew, allowing you to avoid digestive issues. It will also preserve the health of your surrounding bone and gums. You can maintain a healthy smile with straight teeth.
Having a beautiful smile could encourage you to smile more often. You’ll become more approachable and confident in social settings. Your natural serotonin production will increase, which can boost your mood.
Dental Implant Surgery
Your dentist will use an X-ray to assess the area where your tooth is missing. They’ll make a small incision in your gums to drill a hole into your jawbone. During this appointment, they’ll place the implant body (which looks like a screw).
After you heal, your dentist can add an extension (the abutment). They can also add a temporary crown during this time.
During the next few weeks or several months, you’ll undergo a healing period called osseointegration. Osseointegration gives bone matter time to grow around the screw. This process ensures the implant remains stable.
Once you heal, your dentist can place the crown on the abutment. They’ll customize the prosthetic to ensure it suits your smile. They can even color-match it to your surrounding teeth.
Dental implants have a 90 to 95% success rate (after 10 years). They’re recognized as the most advanced solution for replacing teeth after decay or trauma. How long they last can vary based on the material used.
It’s normal to experience some bleeding 12 to 24 hours after your dental implant surgery. You may also experience discomfort or soreness.
You can ease your discomfort by placing a cold compress against your cheek for 10 minutes at a time. Make sure it’s wrapped in a towel. Otherwise, suck on ice or drink cold water to numb the area.
You may notice swelling in the face or gums two to three days after your surgery. This is also normal.
Your dentist will walk you through aftercare procedures, including:
- Taking antibiotics to prevent infection
- Cleaning and caring for the implant
- Avoiding hard-to-chew foods while you heal
- Avoiding certain exercises/physical activity
- Not using a straw
- Not moving your head excessively
Schedule routine check-ups. Your dentist can assess the treatment site to ensure you’re healing.
Talk to Your Dentist Today
An endosteal implant can restore your smile and help you avoid health issues in the future. Talk to your dentist about dental implant surgery. They’ll determine if you’re an ideal candidate for treatment.
Our team at Forest Dental Park has over 30 years of experience providing exceptional dental care. We care about your smile. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!