12 Essential Facts About Dental Implants

Oct 14, 2022
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Losing a tooth is no joke and can affect your oral health and confidence. We answer some of the commonly asked questions about dental implants - a great way to replace missing teeth.

Despite dental care advances and improved public health, more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 1 in 4 adults has untreated tooth decay. Once a tooth has decayed, there's no bringing it back. For many years, dentures or bridges were the only options people had to replace their missing teeth. Today dental implants are the preferred choice of millions of people who want to fill in the gaps in their smiles.

If you are considering getting dental implants, here are some important facts you need to know.

Do dental implants have a taste?

Dental implants are made of non-corrosive materials and do not leave behind a metallic taste. Likewise, the crowns or prosthetics don't have a taste. Once your implants are in place, you can enjoy the full flavor of your food with no lingering aftertaste, which you can have with decaying teeth.

Will dental implants set off metal detectors?

Dental implants do not typically trigger detectors at airport security checks. They are made of titanium which is difficult to detect with a metal detector. Also, only a small amount of titanium is used, which is usually not enough to sound any alarms.

Do dental implants affect taste?

Dental implants are not known to affect taste. The permanent natural tooth replacements integrate with bone tissue and do not affect your taste buds. Many people with implants comment that their food tastes even better after the procedures. That's because previously, they had periodontal disease, which caused a lingering metallic taste. If you notice a funny taste in your mouth after implants, it will likely be due to another issue.

How can dental implants change the shape of my face?

Wrinkles and loose skin aren’t just products of an aging face. Bone loss caused by missing teeth can also affect the way we look. By restoring bone mass in the jaw through having dental implants, the skin tightens, restoring the face's shape. This can make a person look younger than their years.

Can I still get dental implants if I have osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break. While this can happen in any bone in the body, it typically occurs in the vertebrae, hip and wrist. Therefore, even if you have osteoporosis, you may still be a good candidate for implants.

However, if you are taking certain medications to manage your condition, your implant surgeon will need to discuss the best way forward with your doctor. This is because therapeutics such as Fosamax reduce bone cell turnover to halt the progression of osteoporosis, but implants need this cell turnover to integrate with the jaw.

Are dental implants sensitive to temperatures?

Due to enamel loss, natural teeth are sometimes sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Dental implants are artificial and, therefore, shouldn't be sensitive to hot or cold food and drink. If you do experience sensitivity after implant placement, it could possibly be a sign of some other problem, such as improper placement or peri-implantitis. This infection causes inflammation in the gum tissue surrounding the implant. Other signs of this condition include bleeding while brushing, jaw soreness and a pungent taste near the implant site.

Will having dental implants change my speech?

There should be no problems with your speech if your implants are placed properly. If they are replacing one or more missing teeth, you may notice improvements to your speech. That's because teeth are critical for many of the phonetic sounds our mouths make when speaking, such as "Th," "SH" and "CH." If you have lost several teeth, especially if they're adjacent to each other, it's almost impossible to speak properly. Therefore, implants will affect your speech but in the most positive way possible by correcting issues that caused phonetic problems.

Will my mouth reject a dental implant?

Dental implant rejections are rare. The jawbone readily accepts the prosthetic and fuses naturally with it. However, some rejections occur due to allergies against the titanium that make up the implant. 

Can you remove dental implants?

No, you can't. They fuse naturally with your jaw thanks to a process called osseointegration.

How long will my implants last?

Implants are designed to be permanent tooth replacements and should last a lifetime, provided you take good care of them. While your dental surgeon can’t give you a lifetime guarantee, they can provide you with guidelines on how to take good care of them.

Can you floss if you have dental implants?

Yes, you can. Dentists recommend you should floss daily just as you would before your implants were placed. Regarding your oral hygiene, it doesn't matter whether you floss before or after you've brushed your teeth.

Is there a cut-off age for having dental implants?

The minimum age for having a dental implant is 18. Children are not suitable for the procedure because implants can't be fitted while a jaw is still growing. Implants placed in a young jaw will impede its growth and the proper movement of teeth into their natural places. There is no upper age limit provided the patient is in good oral and general health.

Contact The Dental Implant Specialists At Chesterfield Dentistry

Get in touch with the friendly and professional team at Chesterfield Dentistry if you have a problem with your teeth and want it fixed with a dental implant. We'll also be able to answer any questions you may have about dental implants and the procedure.

Contact us at (314) 936 3621 or make a booking online.

Photo attribution: image by javi_indy on Freepik