5 Factors in Successful Dental Implant Surgery
When it comes to replacing one or more missing teeth and restoring your oral health, dental implants are tough to beat. In fact, they are considered by many to be the superior prosthetic tooth option available today.
Despite myths about dental implants still floating around, the demand for this restorative procedure continues to grow as their many benefits become more widely known. Millions of dental implants are placed annually and the long-term success rates remain well over 90%. You might already be aware of these advantages and that’s triggered your interest in getting dental implants to transform your smile.
If you find yourself dreaming of beautiful dental implants and a full, youthful smile, here’s what you should consider.
1. Number of Teeth That Need to Be Replaced
How many teeth do you need replaced with dental implants? Dental implants can replace teeth individually, meaning one implant post per missing tooth, or they can be used to replace consecutively missing teeth or an entire arch.
Single dental implants are a complete system made up of three parts: the titanium implant post, an abutment, and a dental crown. They can be used for patients who only have one missing tooth or, if they have a few missing teeth, in different areas of their mouth. When a person has extensive or complete tooth loss, a better solution is to opt for an implant-supported appliance. This allows a prosthodontist to place fewer implant posts per arch while still visually replacing all missing teeth.
2. All-on-4® vs. Traditional Arch Replacement
Extensive tooth loss is a common problem, especially as we get older. Dentures have long been the go-to solution for restoring smiles, but they aren’t without their disadvantages. Prosthodontists now have a few options for helping patients in these situations permanently restore their smile without a high number of implants being needed.
Traditional arch replacement requires healthy jawbone density as anywhere from six to eight or more implant posts will be used to support the prosthetic. The prosthetic used is similar to what a dental bridge pontic resembles, meaning it replicates just the teeth and not the gum tissue.
Another alternative, and one that Dr. Bentz offers, is called All-on-4. This treatment option utilizes only four individual posts on each arch. These implants will support a denture-like prosthetic that beautifully replicates teeth and gum tissue. The advantage of this option is there’s a wider acceptance for candidacy, surgery is quicker and can be done in a single visit. During that single visit, you’ll also have the denture placed, which means you’ll have your new smile in one day.
You’ll be able to weigh the pros and cons of traditional vs. All-on-4 treatment with the help of Dr. Bentz. He’ll go over why he believes one is a better choice for you over the other and you’ll come to a decision together.
3. Picking a Prosthodontist to Work With
The single most important thing you can do to ensure your dental implant surgery is successful is to choose the best prosthodontists that you can. Every facet of your dental implant restorations rides on the skills and experience of the prosthodontist, from the initial consultation to your long-term oral health.
Look for a prosthodontist who is board-certified and has extensive positive reviews for their practice. Visit their website and see what education the prosthodontist has accomplished. For example, Dr. Bentz has had additional training in dental implant placement and many years of success in this field of restorative care. He is also an active member of renowned dentistry associations, showing that he has a passion for prosthodontics and remains up-to-date with the newest developments.
After finding a promising prosthodontist, schedule a consultation or initial new patient visit to get to know them in person. Ask questions, discuss your smile goals, and see how you get along. It’s important to choose a prosthodontist that makes you feel relaxed, comfortable, and—most importantly—heard and respected.
4. Preventing Infection While Healing
After your dental implant surgery is complete, it’s essential to do everything you can to take care of the surgery site and your overall oral health to prevent infection. Though infection and rejection of a dental implant are pretty rare, they can occur when oral hygiene is poor. This could happen if you begin smoking or drinking alcohol, eat hard foods that irritate the implant post, or don’t keep your mouth clean between meals.
Your prosthodontist will give you strict guidelines on how to care for your smile post-surgery. This includes what oral care products to use, how to clean around the implant, and what foods you can and can’t eat. Immediately after surgery, you will need to be very careful with your diet, eating only soft foods and staying hydrated.
5. Maintaining Long-Term Oral Hygiene and Health
Achieving and maintaining optimal oral health is what will help ensure your dental implant restoration will last.
Eat a nutritious, varied diet, drink plenty of water, and limit your daily sugar consumption. Brush at least twice a day for two minutes per session and floss daily. Use oral care products recommended by your dentist and be sure to continue seeing them for checkups and cleanings every six months.
Also, be aware of your gum health. Peri-implantitis—a form of periodontitis unique to dental implants—can lead to implant failure. If your gums bleed when brushing or flossing, you notice chronic bad breath, or your gums feel tender, consult your prosthodontist right away.
Best Dental Implants Near Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Bentz is a board-certified prosthodontist near Philadelphia, PA, who specializes in dental implant restorations. We also provide comprehensive dental care to meet all of our patients’ needs: from routine preventive appointments to the best in cosmetic dentistry services.
Our welcoming East Norriton, PA, office is outfitted with the latest in advanced dental technology to ensure you have as comfortable an experience as possible. If you’re interested in learning how dental implants can benefit your smile, we invite you to visit our practice for a consultation.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Bentz today by calling our office or requesting a visit online.