What Are Dental Implants?

dental implants michiganDental implants are primarily titanium posts surgically implanted into the gum line to substitute a tooth’s root. The post is not enough on its own to attach a replacement tooth, so abutments or connectors are built into or on top of the implant, providing ample room to connect the new fabricated tooth.

The surgery to provide dental implants Michigan is a straightforward and routine process, but the healing time varies based on the patient. Older patients tend to require more healing time than younger patients; however, a licensed dentist can provide more detail on the dental implant installation and recovery timeline.

More often than not, implants are used to replace singular teeth or a small grouping, although they can be used for complete dentures as well. When dealing with a half set of dentures or a singular tooth, the ability to match the color of your remaining teeth is crucial to preserving a natural-looking smile.

While the post does not have anything to do with the coloring, it does provide a stable foundation for the new false teeth. The post allows the new tooth or teeth to sit firmly and securely in the mouth, aligned with your remaining natural teeth.

Who Needs Dental Implants?

Anyone in Michigan with missing or damaged teeth should consider dental implants. However, implants are not a universal solution, meaning not all patients are suited to the surgery and recovery process. Consequently, patients without adequate bone density and support or healthy gums, or a consistent and positive dental hygiene routine should not consider the surgery.

Additionally, any patient with an autoimmune disorder, diabetes, or who smokes and uses drugs is at a greater risk of surgical complications. Before submitting to surgery, it is also necessary to take inventory of all medications that might affect healing; be sure to tell your dentist about all medicines.

Dental implant surgery is best for patients with cosmetic flaws, like a chipped or missing tooth. Moreover, implants can provide more security and confidence for denture wearers, especially those Michiganders who wear ill-fitting prosthetics. An implant might also be necessary for patients with a deteriorating jawbone or those with their face sinking in, as the device can help replace essential tooth structure.

Finally, a patient with periodontal disease, injuries, or other damages might suffer from infections. While infection can destroy the integrity of the tooth’s structure, the implant can replace the structure to create adequate support for the new teeth. If you questions and are in the Detroit Metro area, Grosse Pointe, Rochester Hills, Clinton Township, Washington, Michigan or Macomb County, contact us or visit one of our offices.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Are dental implants safe? Yes, dental implants are safe and effective, but as with any surgical procedure, there are risks. For most people considering implants, the benefits outweigh the risks, but only you can determine your need for the surgery.

For decades, dental implants have provided relief, comfort, and confidence to numerous patients. However, despite the reliable nature of the devices, some patients are at greater risk of surgical complications, like those with diabetes or other illnesses.

The primary risks with implant surgery are infection, rejection, damage to nerves, blood vessels, and teeth, sinus complications, and allergic reactions. All difficulties are rare, but to achieve informed consent, a dentist will go through everything. While the chances of adverse outcomes are minimal, you can further reduce risks by selecting your surgeon.

If you opt for the surgery, you will experience many benefits, including improved speech, eating, and quality of life. However, before committing to the surgery, make sure you understand all the potential risks and have your dentist walk you through the procedure. Many people find it comforting to know as much about the process as possible.

Types of Dental Implants

Despite the popularity of metal devices, including a proven track record and supportive historical data, implant technologies and materials have evolved somewhat over the years. Consequently, patients can now choose between two types of dental implants: zirconia or titanium.

If a patient is interested in a “non-metal” option, zirconia implants are the industry standard. The ceramic-type structure is comparably solid and capable when compared to titanium. However, patients might want to be a bit cautious about the non-metal claim as every ceramic device has the presence of oxide, and its structure is made of non-metallic and metallic atoms.

Titanium is the standard material for implants, and for a good reason: it is durable. A patient can recover from surgery and move onto chewing normally with limited restrictions or risk of fracturing the device. While rare, titanium implants do present allergy, corrosion, and galvanic toxicity risks. If you are concerned about such risks, talk to your dentist.

Dental Implants for Seniors

Dental implants for seniors present alternative options to dentures and bridges. With nearly 30% of the 65 to 74-year-old population missing most if not all their natural teeth because of trauma, tooth decay, or osteoporosis, the devices present a welcomed substitute.

While dentures and bridges are less expensive initially, the level of care required to maintain them can be burdensome to some elderly patients. Dental implants do not require any special care other than brushing and flossing as with regular teeth.

Not all patients will be good candidates for implants. For example, if a patient currently experiences any of the following issues, surgery is likely not a viable option:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Immune disorders
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Drug abuse
  • Cancer

If you are uncertain implants are a good fit for you, consider talking to your dentist. Implanted devices can present several advantages, including aesthetic appeal. Many patients attribute the implants to a boost in confidence, more comfortable eating experiences, and clearer speech.

There is no upper age restriction when it comes to dental implant surgery. Even people with reduced bone density because of osteoporosis might still be eligible candidates. Never assume an implant option isn’t a good fit without consulting a dental professional.

Procedure

Working with your regular dentist, a dental surgeon will determine if implantation is an appropriate treatment option. They will need to determine the best course of treatment. For example, some patients will require a tooth extraction before the surgeon can determine the viability of the remaining bone.

If an extraction or decay does not leave a patient with enough bone, that does not mean they are automatically excluded from implant options. Instead, a surgeon might need to perform a bone graft before implant surgery.

The first step of implant surgery is to place a titanium rod into the jaw bone. The bone is then given time to heal before the next appointment when a support post is attached to the rod. After enough time has passed, the new tooth or crown is attached.

Aftercare

When searching for dental implants near me, it is natural to think about the procedure and the aftercare. Many patients worry about the recovery and pain following such a procedure, but many are also surprised at the little discomfort following the surgery.

Obviously, there will be discomfort following the procedure, but your dentist will work with you to determine the best pain management protocol. Any minor pain you feel will decrease every day following the process.

You will want to maintain good oral hygiene, but immediately following the surgery, you need to refrain from touching the site, spitting, smoking, or even sucking on straws. Doing any of these things can dislodge blood clots and interfere with the healing process.

Dental implants are an effective treatment for many people. Talk with your dental professional to find out if it is right for you.

Serving Michigan

If you are in Michigan and have additional questions about dental implants contact us today. We have offices in Grosse Point/Detroit, Troy/Rochester, Washington/Romeo, Warren/Sterling Heights and Macomb/Clinton Township.