Learning that you are about to lose teeth is never pleasant and not surprisingly many people will find this news extremely upsetting. The good news is that nowadays it’s possible to replace teeth with dental implants. This is an advanced treatment that has the potential to last for many years and quite possibly for your lifetime.
What’s even better about dental implants is that most people will be suitable for treatment. If you are facing tooth loss, then there are various steps you can take to help ensure their removal and replacement will be as smooth and as comfortable as possible.
Visiting the right dental specialist will ensure the final outcome of treatment is highly successful and that your new implant teeth will look and feel amazing.
Finding Out if Tooth Loss is Inevitable
Tooth loss can occur for a variety of reasons that include disease and trauma. While your dentist will work hard to save your teeth, sometimes the damage is simply too great for them to be salvaged.
A tooth that is badly infected will sometimes have to be extracted in order to clear up the infection. If a tooth has cracked right through its root then it cannot be saved. However, if your dentist thinks there is any chance of saving a tooth, then it is worth exploring all the options.
For example, if a root canal treatment has failed, then it could be worth seeing a specialist called an endodontist, to see if re-treatment is a viable option.
The same might be true if you have advanced gum disease, as a specialist dentist called a periodontist will be able to give you a more complete assessment as to whether anything can be done to save your teeth. If this isn’t possible, they will be able to provide expert advice and treatment about the best way to proceed with replacing your teeth with dental implants.
Planning the Right Kind of Tooth Extraction
When it comes to removing teeth, the way the extraction is carried out can make a great deal of difference to the potential success of your dental implants. This is something that many people are unaware of, simply assuming that teeth can be removed by their general dentist. While this is definitely true, a general dentist will take out a tooth by wiggling it, usually until you hear a loud crack as the tooth comes out of the socket. Although effective, this method isn’t always ideal as it can damage the bony socket surrounding the tooth.
Atraumatic Tooth Extractions
This is where visiting a periodontist will really pay off as he/she can carry out what’s called an atraumatic tooth extraction. It is far better if you are intending to have dental implants. For this method of tooth extraction, the tooth is removed using a corkscrew action.
It’s a technique that requires specialized training and tools, but it does mean that the tooth will be removed with minimal damage to the surrounding bone. This is advantageous as it will help to reduce the risk of you requiring a bone graft in preparation for dental implants. Thus, ensuring that the final outcome is a strong and stable dental implant that looks aesthetically pleasing.
Getting the Best Possible Dental Implant Treatment
Your periodontist is also the best person to see for dental implant treatment as he/she specializes in placing dental implants. He/she will ensure your jawbone and gums are completely healthy and free from disease before carrying out this procedure. This is very important if you happen to have lost teeth due to advanced gum disease. This is a bacterial infection that could otherwise impair the success of dental implant treatment.
Deciding Which Dental Implant Treatment Will Be Most Effective
Your periodontist can talk to you about which dental implant treatment will be most effective for you. There are lots of different solutions to accommodate different scenarios, depending on the number of teeth missing, their position and the condition of your jawbone.
Dental implants can replace single or multiple missing teeth and they are an excellent way to restore complete arches of teeth. Numerous people who previously struggled with full dentures have already benefited from this treatment. It allows them to get rid of their dentures completely or to replace them with implant stabilized dentures.
Determining If You Need a Bone Graft
The first thing to assess will be whether you require any bone grafts in preparation for dental implant surgery. This might be the case if you need upper back teeth replaced as these are near the sinus cavities where the jawbone is naturally thinner.
If you lost teeth quite some time ago, you are also more likely to require bone grafts as the jawbone gradually reabsorbs once natural teeth are removed. It’s important to make sure there is sufficient bone as it will support your dental implants. Providing them with a strong and stable foundation and ensuring treatment is long-lasting.
At the same time, a bone graft will also ensure that your dental implants look fantastic once completed, improving the overall aesthetics of treatment. To assess the condition of your jawbone, your doctor will take a cone beam CT scan that provides a highly detailed 3-D image of your jaws. Furthermore, it also shows all the important structures such as nerve and blood vessels that could affect treatment.
Planning Your Treatment
Your CT scan is used to plan your treatment and this is essential for making sure the surgery proceeds smoothly and comfortably for you. Moreover, it will also ensure that the dental implants are precisely placed in the perfect position.
To do this, the dentist will make a surgical guide that is a highly specialized template for use during surgery. Every single detail is considered before you have your implant surgery to make sure it is a complete success.
Once the dental implants are inserted, it may be possible to ‘load’ them immediately with your new implant teeth. So, you may even leave the dental office with your new teeth in place. Even if this isn’t possible, the dentist will still ensure you have temporary teeth so there is absolutely no need to worry you will be left without a smile while the implants heal.
Dental implant treatment can be an excellent solution for tooth loss. If you are facing this problem or have already lost teeth, why not book a consultation to find out more?