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Dental Implants: Everything You Need to Know [Updated]

Dental Implants in Grand Rapids MI

Dental implants have a success rate of up to 98% (WebMD). Of course, the success rate also depends on the skill and experience of the dental implant dentist you choose. Dr. Suk Jun Yun has years of experience of surgically placing dental implants and restorations. He’s also attended the Engel Institute and the International Academy of Dental Implantology Fellowship for advanced dental implant training.

Since publishing this blog post, we’ve updated it to bring you even more information. (Now it truly has EVERYTHING you need to know!)

This blog post will cover:

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a threaded post (typically made of titanium) Dr. Yun inserts in your jaw to replace natural tooth roots. Once you lose a tooth, your body will start to absorb the minerals in your jaw to use elsewhere. Dental implants stop bone loss in your jaw, preventing further tooth loss and facial collapse in the long run. In other words, dental implants exert pressure on your jaw, keeping it healthy like natural tooth roots would.

What are the Different Types of Dental Implants?

Full-sized dental implants are between 3.4 and 5.8 mm in diameter while mini dental implants are between 1.8 and 3.0 mm in diameter. The difference in size affects the invasiveness and recovery time of the dental implant procedure. Since mini implants are smaller, you don’t need as much bone density in your jaw to place them. A mini implant has a ball at the end so the crown can snap into place. This crown will have a socket underneath, creating a secure attachment with the implant.

Our dentist may recommend implant-supported dentures, all-on-4, or all-on-6 implants if you’re missing most of your teeth. While implant-supported dentures can be removable, all-on-4 and all-on-6 implants permanently fix an arch of teeth to your jaw.

What Can I Expect From the Dental Implant Process?

The traditional dental implant process takes several months, from your initial consultation with Dr. Yun to the final crown placement. Yet, keep in mind that you could get mini dental implants in as little as one appointment. Your experience will completely depend on what type of dental implant you and Dr. Yun choose.

Consultation

During your consultation, Dr. Yun will determine if you’re a candidate for the dental implant procedure. You must have enough bone density in your jaw for us to surgically place the implants. Yet, keep in mind that you don’t need as much bone density to qualify for mini dental implants. The procedure we choose will also depend on how many teeth you wish to replace. For example, patients with little to no teeth may request implant-supported dentures or all-on-6 implants.

Procedure

Dr. Yun will take 3D CT scans to check the condition of your jawbone and nerve position. Dr. Yun will also create an exact surgical guide to fit over your teeth during the procedure, only exposing where the implant will be surgically placed.

Using a surgical guide is ideal because it makes your implant procedure far less invasive with minimal incisions. Since the hole for the implant is so small, you have a much lower risk of swelling, bleeding, and infection. You’ll also recover much faster than if you went to a dentist that didn’t use a surgical guide and instead made a large incision along your gums down to the bone.

Recovery

No matter what dental implants you get, it’s important that you give yourself enough time to recover after the procedure. Eat soft, easy-to-chew food until Dr. Yun says it’s okay to resume your normal diet. Soft foods like yogurt, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese are perfect while healing from the dental implant procedure.

You’ll have several appointments after we place your implants so Dr. Yun can monitor your recovery. Over the course of several months, your implants will fuse to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration.

Restoration

Once you’re completely healed and the implant is stable, Dr. Yun will place the abutment and crown over the implant. This will give you the look and function of a natural tooth. If you choose mini dental implants, Dr. Yun will attach your crowns the same day he places the implants.

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

Yes! Dental implants are absolutely worth it because they restore your smile AND your oral health. No other tooth replacement option has the power to do this!

Did you know that losing one tooth puts you at risk for losing more? This is because teeth are held in place by tooth roots and surrounding teeth. Once you lose a tooth, teeth close to the empty socket will tilt toward the open space and loosen. Missing teeth can also cause healthy jawbone tissue to deteriorate over time and make your face appear sunken in. A dental implant protects your smile by exerting pressure on your jaw like natural tooth roots would.

Dental implants are also great for patients who feel self-conscious about missing teeth. There are many benefits of dental implants, which include being able to eat any food you want. Dentures prevent you from eating foods like steak, popcorn, peanut butter, fruits, and vegetables. With dental implants, you are able to enjoy a full, unrestricted diet.

Conclusion / Key Takeaways

The dental implant procedure is one of the best ways to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are embedded in your jawbone for the ultimate stability while you chew, talk, smile, and laugh. Also, dental implants act like artificial tooth roots to stimulate and keep your jawbone tissue healthy. Without dental implants, your body is able to sense missing teeth and will absorb the minerals in your jaw to use elsewhere. Dental implants prevent this from happening so you can enjoy good oral health for years to come.

Dr. Yun is a dental implant dentist in Grand Rapids, MI. To request an appointment and learn if you’re a candidate for dental implants, call the NorthPointe Family Dental & Implant Center at (616) 288-6134.