Dental Implants: A Permanent Tooth Replacement To Consider


One of the most notable technological advances in dentistry has to be the development of dental implants.

Prior to their launch, the only options available to people who had lost a tooth were bridges or dentures. Dental implants offer an attractive and comfortable solution for those who have lost a tooth to decay or injury, providing a permanent replacement option that looks and feels like a real tooth.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Because a dental implant feels and looks like a normal tooth, it can do wonders for a patient's self-esteem. Many people who were shy about smiling due to a space from a lost tooth feel perfectly comfortable after a dental implant. Beyond the aesthetics, a dental implant also makes it easier to eat and speak, since a titanium post secured directly in the jaw holds the implant in place. Thus, an implant doesn't come loose like a denture. Dental implants also benefit general oral health since they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges.

Dental Implant Success Rates

Dental implant success can depend on where the missing teeth are located, but the average success rate is more than 95 percent, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). Because the implant penetrates the jaw bone and gum, certain people may not be a good fit for the procedure, such as those who smoke or suffer from diabetes. Your dentist will be able to evaluate whether dental implants are right for you.

Caring for a Dental Implant

Good oral health habits are required for the implant to be a success. Teeth must be flossed and brushed and regular dental visits should be made. It should be noted that most insurance companies do not cover the cost of a dental implant, and it can cost between $1000 to $2,000 per tooth and there is an additional cost for the crown that is attached to the dental implant. If you are missing a tooth and believe a dental implant might be the right solution for you, start by consulting your dentist.
 
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What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

Teeth cleanings are sometimes dreaded. Between the prodding, strange noises, and occasional jaw discomfort, it's easy to understand the apprehension.






the truth is: For most people, a teeth cleaning is simple and painless.


Knowing exactly what is going on during the process can help ease your stress and allow you to better enjoy the minty fresh, clean results.


Step 1: A Physical Exam

Most teeth cleanings are performed by a dental hygienist. Before the actual cleaning process begins, they start with a physical exam of your entire mouth.

The dental hygienist uses a small mirror to check around your teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis (inflamed gums) or other potential concerns.

If major problems are detected, they might call the dentist to make sure it's okay to proceed.


Step 2: Removing Plaque and Tartar

With the small mirror to guide them, the dental hygienist uses a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around the gum line, as well as in between the teeth. You'll hear scraping, but this is normal! The more tartar there is in your mouth, the more time is needed to scrape a particular spot.

We brush and floss to stop plaque from building up and hardening into tartar. Once you have tartar, you can only remove it at the dentist's office. So if this is your least favorite part of the teeth cleaning process, the lesson is to brush and floss more often!


Step 3: Gritty Toothpaste Cleaning

After your teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist brushes them with a high-powered electric brush. They make that infamous grinding noise. While it sounds scary, it's a great way to get a deep clean and remove any tartar left behind from the scaler.

Professional cleanings use toothpaste that smells and tastes like regular toothpaste, though you can often choose between flavors. However, it has a gritty consistency that gently scrubs your teeth. This occasional polishing of the teeth is deemed safe at the dentist's office twice a year. But don't be so harsh with your teeth at home, as you'll wear down the enamel.


Step 4: Expert Flossing

Whether you floss regularly at home or not, nothing beats an expert flossing session! Your dental hygienist can get deep in between your teeth and locate any potential trouble spots where you might bleed at the gums.

This might seem pointless if you floss at home, but having a professional floss your teeth also removes any leftover plaque or toothpaste from steps two and three.


Step 5: Rinse!

Next, you rinse out your mouth to get rid of any debris. Your dental hygienist will usually use a rinse that contains liquid fluoride.


Step 6: Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride Disclaimer!
While dentists recommend two fluoride treatments per year, some insurance companies only cover the cost of one. Make sure you set up a payment plan in advance if this applies to your coverage!

The last step of the cleaning process is a fluoride treatment. This treatment is used as a protectant for your teeth to help fight against cavities for several months.

Your dental hygienist will ask you what flavor you like best (mint? lemon? bubblegum?). They'll then place the foamy gel (or sometimes it is in the form of a sticky paste) into a mouthpiece that fits over your teeth. It's usually left on your teeth for one minute.


Other Potential Steps

Professional teeth cleanings are scheduled twice a year, while X-rays are normally done once a year. Still, depending on what your dentist or dental hygienist observes in your mouth, they might do other exams during your visit. For children, a dentist may recommend molar sealants to help prevent cavities in hard-to-brush areas.

Whether you need any additional steps or not, the key is to keep going back to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings to prevent problems altogether. By understanding what's going on in advance, you'll feel more at ease -- and maybe even look forward to these important appointments!

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