There once was a time where your only option for replacing missing teeth was to receive a set of dentures. While the latter provides a way to regain a measure of lost function, patients were left to settle for issues like shifting, a less natural appearance and the inability to fully taste food. Thankfully, there now is a better solution – dental implants. Read on to learn what this process entails, how sedation dentistry makes it easier and the benefits that await you.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium fixture that is attached to the jawbone. Mimicking the missing tooth root, it fuses with the existing bone over time to form a solid foundation.
After an initial period of healing, another titanium piece called an abutment is screwed into the implant, which acts as an anchor that a final restoration can be attached to.
The Restoration Options for a Dental Implant
After healing from the implant and abutment placements, either an implant-retained crown, bridge or dentures can be added, depending on the number of teeth you have missing. Once this last step is completed, you’ll once again have a fully functional and aesthetically-pleasing smile.
Here are some specific benefits of receiving dental implants:
- You won’t have to worry about your restoration slipping or shifting.
- Implants require the same maintenance as your natural teeth, which means you can brush and floss them normally.
- You’ll have a more natural-looking smile that mimics your original appearance.
- Eating food will be a richer experience because you’ll be able to taste more flavors.
How Sedation Dentistry Makes for a Comfortable Process
Because the placement of a dental implant is a surgical procedure, some patients may worry about having to endure pain. Sedation dentistry provides a way to overcome any fears and receive the comfortable care needed to restore oral health.
Here are the two available methods:
- Oral Sedation – Delivered in a pill form, your dentist may recommend oral sedation for mild-to-moderate cases of anxiety and more involved dental procedures.
- IV Sedation – For more acute forms of anxiety and complex dental procedures, IV sedation may be used. Not only does it calm nerves, but it also contributes to a painless experience.
Once the dental implant procedure has concluded and you’ve sufficiently healed, you’ll be happy that you took the initiative to reach out to a specialist for help.
The Right Time to Make a Change
Now that a new year is underway, you have the perfect opportunity to make the positive changes needed in your oral health. Keep in mind, though, that when any number of teeth are missing, it can affect all of the other teeth and contribute to a loss in bone mass.
So if you’re ready to regain usage of all your teeth and ensure that you’ll qualify for the dental implant procedure, then now is the time to reach out to your dentist. Then, with the aid of sedation dentistry, you can soon enjoy the feeling of being fully restored!
About the Author
Dr. Richard A. Cea is a graduate of Marquette University. As part of his commitment to providing the best care, he has taken hours of advanced postgraduate education, and he has invested in state-of-the-art technology. A member of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, Dr. Cea replaces missing teeth with dental implants at Springs Dental Care, and he can be reached for more information through his website.