People usually don’t think of dental implants as a solution to their oral healthcare problems, when in fact, dental implants are replacing dentures all across the country. You may be asking yourself, “What are dental implants and what do they do?” There’s a lot of reasons as to why one would get dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
If you’re missing a tooth, a lot of things can happen. It can affect your oral healthcare. Even if you’re perfect at brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash, you can still get a cavity and lose a tooth. It happens to the best of us. Dental implants make it as if that tooth was never missing in the first place.
When you get a tooth removed, you’re getting the roots removed from your jaw and/or skull depending on which tooth you’re getting pulled. It shifts your teeth around in a negative way. A dental implant is a surgical item that affixes to either your jawbone or your skull, and makes way for a dental crown or a bridge to be placed, all without messing with your alignment. It’s the foundation to your new tooth/teeth, and it’s extremely necessary for a number of reasons.
When you visit your periodontist, one of the first things they’re going to look at is the alignment of your bite. A lot of Americans don’t have s perfect bite. If you have a misaligned bite, it could be due to a number of reasons. One of the more common is that you have a missing tooth somewhere in your mouth, and your teeth are shifting in one direction. This completely throws off your alignment, and can lead to a lot of negative things.
You Just Miss the Tooth
If you’re someone who pays extreme attention to your oral healthcare, then there’s no doubt that you miss that tooth. Oral hygiene is nothing to take lightly, and sometimes, infection or cavities are unavoidable. That being said, you don’t have to carry on with that empty space in your mouth. A dental implant, and later, a dental crown, can help you.
With any dental procedure, there is associated risk. However, having an open hole in your mouth after the tooth has been removed can lead to infection, but a dental implant can fill that space and avoid infections heading down to your jawbone. If your tooth was removed due to an infection that led down the root and went to the jawbone, it’s bound to happen again if you aren’t careful.
How Long Does it Take to Heal?
The healing process can take six weeks up to twelve weeks. You would feel discomfort after a short while, and then you would feel a lowering threshold of discomfort as time goes on. Since the titanium fixture is being affixed to your jaw, it’s a big deal. It’s a foreign object that your body is trying to accept as an extension of you, so the process can be a bit unpleasant.
How Much do Dental Implants Cost?
It varies on the specific case. You have to remember that the cost is not directly associated with the cost for a crown after the implant has some time to heal. The cost could be relatively low for one single implant, and scales upward per additional implant. In some cases, if you are receiving more than one at a time, your periodontist can work out discounted prices for each additional implant.
Can Multiple Implants Be Installed on the Same Day?
It depends on your case, and if there is an associated infection with the site. For implant surgery, you will most definitely be put under general anesthesia. If you’re going in for multiples, the total procedure can take up to a year in order to allow multiple sites to stop swelling, and to become ready for additional implants to be placed.
Why Do You Need a Periodontist Over a General Dentist?
When you’re getting dental implants put in, you’re almost always referred to a periodontist. A gene4ral dentist is there to ensure the health of your teeth, while a periodontist is there to ensure the logistics of your teeth. Is your bite aligned, are your teeth being worn down, do you have gum disease—these are all questions that a general dentist cannot answer, and hence, they refer you to a periodontist.
Periodontists also have all of the training that general dentists do, but they continued their education experience. While they understand all of the components that make up perfect dental hygiene, they focus on the areas around your teeth. For this, they are a better match to properly place dental implants in your mouth. They understand how the logistics are going to play out with every little detail that general dentists alone aren’t trained for.
Your Periodontist Will Tell You If You Should Get Implants or Not
Periodontists take close attention in your potential periodontal disease, (more commonly referred to as gum disease). If your gums aren’t healthy enough to foster the new implants, then they will not recommend that you get them. When you go to a general dentist, even if they have prior knowledge and suggest dental implants, they could possibly be wasting your time and money by sending you along to a specialist without knowing.
You can skip all that mess and save time by going straight to your periodontist to discuss your options for dental implants. In most cases, your gums will not be healthy enough right away to get dental implants, since most Americans suffer from gum disease. However, with due diligence and the care provided by your periodontist, you can both ascend your oral health to a level where you will be able to receive dental implants.
Your Next Periodontal Visit
When you want to ensure complete accuracy and attention to detail, there’s one single periodontist for you. Call Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at (972) 462-9800 to schedule your consultation and discover what dental implants can do for you.
Before you explore the world of dentistry, you may be puzzled to learn that there are vastly different branches. There’s a general dentistry knowledge about every specialist, but much like seeking out doctors for specific parts of your body, different dental specialists look at different aspects of your oral healthcare. As the gateway to our bodies, dental care is one of the most overlooked and important parts of our overall health. A periodontist could be exactly what you’re looking for, and for many reasons.
Periodontics: Major Schooling
General dentists go through a basic level of schooling. However, periodontists have to go through that, and more schooling and certification programs to grab the title. Periodontists focus on the analytical aspects of oral healthcare, and it’s for that reason that they need to know everything there is to know about general dentistry, and more. Periodontics are the outline to how your oral healthcare is, like the frame to a picture.
Why See a Periodontist?
There are a few major reasons that you may be referred to a periodontist instead of your general dentist. You may be confused. “Why are they sending me to another dentist? I already see them, can’t they help me?” Going into the intricate details of periodontics isn’t for everyone. A general dentist often seeks out assistance from specialists. Think of a periodontist as someone who’s preserving your perfect smile, while your general dentist is responsible for maintaining it.
If you’re going to see a periodontist, there can be several reasons:
What Else Does a Periodontist Perform?
A periodontist may perform certain extents of oral surgery. For example, if you lose a tooth and have it extracted, you can see major misalignment coming your way if it’s not taken care of properly. While many people don’t get a bridge between two teeth, they can get a revolutionary piece of dental tech called dental implants. Your periodontist does as you would image—they implant them in your gums to connect to your jawbone, as your other teeth do, and keep that space properly occupied.
This can help you in more ways than one. When your teeth are all in place, whether they are implants or not, you won’t see your smile misalign. This can avoid all the problems we covered earlier. Even if you perfectly brush three times a day, floss, use mouthwash, and you’ve never missed a dental appointment, you can still get a cavity from time to time. Then, you can lose that tooth. From there, your smile can misalign and wear down, and cause a lot more problems.
When your smile is misaligned, it can also lead to lisps and a sore jaw. Your periodontist is ensuring that your mouth is perfectly straight, and that issues with everything surrounding your teeth are all in check. To put it lightly, a periodontist is a tactician of how to perceive your oral healthcare.
Americans Don’t See Periodontists as Often as They Should
It’s estimated that half of all Americans over the age of thirty have gum disease in one form or another. That number is estimated because they don’t’ see periodontists as often as they should. Gum disease can lead to a lot more problems than just having pink in the sink, or other immediately impactful things. You can experience slow degeneration of your gums, as well as other parts of your body. Your oral healthcare affects a great deal of your body.
Improperly managed oral healthcare has been linked to dementia, cardiovascular issues, and respiratory problems. While science is still figuring out all of the connections, the numbers are staggering, and the evidence of improper oral healthcare affecting the rest of your body is stacking up. Think of your periodontist as your oral healthcare manager. You just need a performance review every few months.
The key to avoiding a lot of health issues comes with protecting your oral health. It’s not just about your teeth; your gums, your tongue, and the walls of your cheeks. Glands in your mouth absorb everything, so when you’re looking to have the best possible oral health, you need to look at a few things that will help you.
Avoid The Issues With a Periodontist
You can avoid every issue listed here by visiting your periodontist. If those issues persist regardless, your periodontist will be more than equipped to help you and handle your needs, bringing you back to a perfect smile and the best oral healthcare you’ve ever had. Contact Walker Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at (972) 462-9800 to get a handle on your oral healthcare with the most trusted professionals in the dentist. You’ll be wondering why you didn’t see a periodontist sooner.
Stephen S. Walker, D.D.S., M.S.
Dr. Walker is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology. He grew up in Dallas and attended Baylor College of Dentistry. While at Baylor, he was a member of the Odontological Honors Society and was selected to receive the Oral Biology Award and Merritt-Parks Award in Periodontics.