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Questions and Facts About Dental Implants

Jul 23, 2023 | Dental Implants

When it comes to restoring a lost or damaged tooth, dental implants have revolutionized modern dentistry. These innovative tooth replacements provide a natural look, feel, and function, enabling individuals to regain their confidence and quality of life. While you may have heard about dental implants before, there are common questions and several intriguing facts that might surprise you.

Osseointegration: A Marvel of Biological Fusion

One of the most astounding aspects of dental implants is their ability to integrate seamlessly with the jawbone, a process known as osseointegration. This phenomenon occurs because dental implants are typically made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium. Over time, the bone cells of the jaw grow and fuse with the implant, effectively making it a part of the patient’s natural anatomy. This fusion provides unparalleled stability and longevity, often lasting a lifetime with proper care.

Do Dental Implants Change the Shape of Your Face?

Beyond restoring a beautiful smile, dental implants play a crucial role in maintaining facial structure. When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone may begin to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation from chewing forces. Dental implants replace this stimulation, preventing bone loss and preserving the facial contours. This not only keeps you looking youthful but also ensures your remaining teeth stay in their proper positions.

Single-tooth implants will not typically affect the shape of your face. However, patients who receive full-mouth restorations with implants often see a big difference in their face shape. This is due to their face structure now being supported by the implants and their bite. Implants can improve the contours of a patient’s cheeks and jawline by filling out collapsed parts of the face.

Mini Implants: A Versatile Solution

In some cases where traditional implants may not be feasible, mini implants offer a viable alternative. These smaller versions of dental implants are used in patients with reduced bone density or limited space between teeth. Additionally, mini implants can be employed to stabilize dentures, enhancing their fit and comfort. While they may not be suitable for every case, mini implants have proven to be a valuable option for certain individuals.

All-on-4® Treatment Concept: Full Smile Restoration in One Day

If you’re missing a full arch of teeth and desire a rapid and effective solution, the All-on-4® treatment concept might be just what you need. With this revolutionary technique, a dental implant dentist can place four strategically positioned implants in your jawbone, onto which a fixed dental bridge is attached. This means you can walk into the dental office with failing teeth and leave the same day with a fully functional set of new teeth. It’s no wonder this approach has gained popularity for those seeking immediate results.

Can Dental Implants Cause Tinnitus? 

Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of ringing or noise in the ears, which may be continuous or intermittent and can vary in intensity. It can have various underlying causes, such as exposure to loud noises, age-related hearing loss, earwax blockage, certain medications, and medical conditions affecting the ear or auditory system.

While dental implants are a surgical procedure involving the placement of a prosthetic tooth root into the jawbone, there is no established link between dental implants and tinnitus. Dental implant surgery is typically localized to the oral cavity and does not directly affect the auditory system or nerves responsible for hearing.

However, it’s important to consider that individual medical histories and circumstances may vary, and there could be rare cases where specific factors related to a person’s overall health or anatomy might contribute to tinnitus after dental implant surgery. If you are experiencing tinnitus after getting dental implants, it’s essential to consult with both your dentist and a healthcare professional specializing in ear, nose, and throat (ENT) or audiology to determine the exact cause and appropriate course of action.

If you’re considering dental implant surgery and have concerns about tinnitus or any other potential side effects, it’s crucial to discuss them with your dentist or oral surgeon. They can provide you with personalized information, address your concerns, and help you make an informed decision about your dental treatment. As medical knowledge and research evolve, it’s always best to rely on the latest information from qualified healthcare professionals when it comes to making decisions about your health.

Dental Implants and Improved Quality of Life

Beyond the obvious benefits of aesthetics and functionality, dental implants significantly improve a patient’s quality of life. Unlike traditional dentures, which can slip or cause discomfort, dental implants are secure and stable. This means you can enjoy your favorite foods without fear of embarrassment or discomfort. Moreover, dental implants eliminate the need for messy adhesives or nightly removal, simplifying your daily oral hygiene routine.

Can I Get Cavities on My Dental Implants?

No, you cannot get cavities on dental implants themselves. Dental implants are made from materials like titanium, which are not susceptible to tooth decay. Unlike natural teeth, which have enamel that can be damaged by acids produced by bacteria, dental implants do not have enamel and are not vulnerable to cavity formation.

However, it’s essential to note that while dental implants cannot get cavities, the surrounding natural teeth and gum tissues can still be at risk of decay and gum disease. Good oral hygiene practices are crucial to maintaining the health of your remaining teeth and gums. Even though dental implants are not prone to cavities, neglecting proper oral care can lead to issues with neighboring teeth and tissues, which can ultimately affect the longevity and success of the implants.

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are essential for ensuring the overall health of your oral cavity, including the surrounding structures of the dental implants. Dentists can monitor the condition of your gums and natural teeth to address any potential problems before they escalate.

Do Implants Increase a Person’s Chance of Developing Sinusitis or Sinus Infections?

Dental implants, when properly placed and cared for, do not inherently increase a person’s chance of developing sinusitis or sinus infections. However, there is a potential risk of sinus complications if dental implants are placed in the upper jaw (maxilla) and extend into the sinus cavity.

In the upper jaw, the maxillary sinuses are located above the premolars and molars. When teeth are lost in this area, the bone supporting those teeth can resorb or shrink over time. In some cases, there might not be enough bone height to support the full length of a standard dental implant. To overcome this issue, dentists might perform a procedure called a “sinus lift” or “sinus augmentation.”

During a sinus lift, the sinus membrane is gently lifted, and bone graft material is placed between the jawbone and the sinus membrane. This process helps to increase bone height and creates a stable foundation for the dental implant. While sinus lifts are generally safe and routine procedures, they do carry a small risk of sinus complications.
It’s essential to choose a skilled and experienced oral surgeon or implant dentist to perform the sinus lift procedure, reducing the risk of complications. Additionally, patients should carefully follow their dentist’s post-operative instructions and attend all follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.

Overall, dental implants themselves do not directly cause sinusitis or sinus infections. Still, certain surgical procedures, such as sinus lifts, can carry some inherent risks. By selecting a qualified professional and adhering to aftercare instructions, patients can minimize these risks and increase the likelihood of a successful and complication-free dental implant treatment.

Why The Mugford Center For Periodontics and Dental Implants in Crofton?

Using advanced technology and techniques, we create the smile you want with long-lasting dental materials and outstanding aesthetic results. Dental implants provide our patients with the ability to eat anything and can smile with confidence, knowing their teeth will appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.

Dr. David Mugford earned his Doctorate of Medicine in Dentistry from the University of Pennsylvania Dental School in 1989 and he received his Specialty Certificate in Periodontics and Dental Implants at the Medical College of Virginia in 1991. Dr. Mugford has been in practice for 30 years, and he has practiced in the Annapolis area for the past 25 years. John Bruce, DMD earned his Doctorate of Medicine in Dentistry from Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry in 2018 and received his Specialty Certificate and Masters of Periodontology at the University of North Carolina in 2021, where he served as his program’s Chief Resident. He received his Bachelors degree from University of Maryland, College Park in Physiology & Neurobiology in 2014.

Speak with our office today to find out more about your candidacy for dental implants and how we might be able to help: (410) 260-0790.

(Photo credit to https://unsplash.com/@jontyson)