Most people do not spend a lot of time thinking about dental implants until one day, they suddenly end up needing implants. At that point, they are often surprised that the dental implant process — and the implants themselves — are not exactly what they would have expected. Rather than being surprised like these patients, keep reading to learn what surprises they most often face. If you ever need implants, you'll be glad that you have a better idea of what to expect!
Surprise: Dental implants are not made from cadaver teeth.
You may have heard that dental implants are donor teeth from cadavers. However, dental implants are actually made from a combination of titanium and ceramic. The titanium part of the implant is inserted directly into your jaw bone. Dentists use titanium because it is strong, but also because it is non-bioreactive. In other words, your body won't react to the titanium. The crown part of the implant — the part you actually see — is made from ceramic. It will be shaped and colored just like a natural tooth, so nobody will know that it is an implant. Ceramic is strong and will allow you to eat almost anything you'd normally eat, aside from ice chips and the hardest of nuts.
Surprise: Dental implant surgery takes place in stages.
Patients often expect to have one appointment with their dentist and come home with dental implants. They're then surprised when their dentist needs to schedule three appointments for the implant placement. During the first appointment, the screws are implanted into the jaw bone. A few months later,a dentist will attach a connecting piece, called an abutment, to the screw. A week or two after that, during a third appointment, the crown will be put on the implant.
Surprise: Dental implants still need to be brushed.
Dental implants can't develop cavities, so many people just assume that brushing them is not important. However, the teeth can still grab on to oral bacteria, and those oral bacteria can lead to gum disease and decay in the other teeth. You should brush dental implants twice a day as if they were natural teeth. Floss around them, too!
Getting dental implants is not always what people expect. If you have any questions or concerns about the process, feel free to bring them up to your dentist.
For more information about dental implants, reach out to a local dental practitioner.