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What Should Patients Know About Dental Implant Dentistry?

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Dental implants are a restorative tool used to replace missing teeth. Patients who undergo dental extractions are encouraged to consider dental implants as a restorative option. Implants can protect your jawbone from erosion and allow you to smile with confidence. Dental implants can also make it easier to enjoy your favorite foods. Here are three things that patients should know about dental implant dentistry:

1. You can choose subperiosteal or mini dental implants.

Endosteal dental implants are the most common variety. These implants are placed into a patient's jawbone through a slit made in their gums. However, you must have a sufficient bone mass in your jaw to be considered a candidate for endosteal implants. If you do not have enough bone mass, you can choose to undergo a bone graft procedure. You also have a few other options. You can choose to get subperiosteal implants, which are placed above the jawbone. Alternatively, you can choose mini dental implants, which are placed in the jawbone. Mini dental implants are smaller, which means they require less bone mass to achieve the desired result.

2. You may need to return to your dentist's office multiple times.

The dental implant procedure is most commonly performed over the course of several appointments. Initially, you will need to see your dentist for a consultation. You will generally have your implants installed at a second appointment. Some patients choose to have their tooth prostheses installed at the same time, but dentists typically prefer to allow the implant to heal for quite some time first. You will return to your dentist to have your prostheses attached at another appointment. Your dentist will want to see you a final time to make sure your implants are healing as they should.

3. You can replace all your teeth with a few implants.

Dental implants are a great choice for people who are missing a single tooth, but they can also help people with more extensive tooth loss. If you have experienced complete tooth loss, you are an excellent candidate for dental implants. Your dentist can restore your teeth using only four dental implants, placing two on the bottom of your mouth and two on the top. By replacing multiple teeth with a single implant, your dentist can lessen your pain and improve your recovery time. When patients are missing multiple teeth, dental bridges, rather than single tooth prostheses, are attached to implants.