What is Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is made by titanium. It is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reasons. Dental implant is the best alternate to a natural tooth or teeth, functionally and aesthetically. They provide a better chewing and phonation than traditional prosthetic treatments and bring up natural face appearance.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
- Natural teeth: Strong and stable, a dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth. Dental implants allow you to keep your teeth where they belong – in your mouth. Brush, floss and care for teeth that have been replaced using dental implants exactly the way you would natural teeth – in your mouth.
- Built to last: Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to ten years. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a li fetime when properly placed and cared for over time.
- Retain your natural face shape: A face without teeth can sag and appear sunken and sad. Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.
- Protect healthy bone: Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to additional health issues, such as the loss and deterioration of some of your jawbone. When it is not being used to support a natural tooth, the jawbone deteriorates, losing its strength and firmness. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
- Speak easy: Adjusting to removable dentures can mean struggling to pronounce everyday words. Not so with dental implants, which function like natural teeth.
- Protect your healthy teeth: Dental implants go in the jawbone, in the spot where your missing tooth root was, without impacting healthy teeth. They also help prevent healthy, adjacent teeth from shifting as they would if an empty space were left for an extended period of time.
Before the Procedure
To prepare for the process, it is important to have a thorough evaluation including a comprehensive exam and a treatment plan. A comprehensive exam includes dental X-rays and models showing teeth and mouth. Treatment plan takes into account factors such as how many teeth you need and the condition of your jawbone. It is also important to tell your dentist about any medical conditions and medications you take.
What Happens During Dental Implant?
Dental implant procedure is a multi staged procedure. Your mouth will be thoroughly number with local anesthesia. An incision is made in your gums where the implant will go to expose the bone underneath. Dentist will then use a specialized drill to make a space in the jawbone. The implant is then screwed in place. After implant is in place, a second compenent that is a cap placed on the dental implant and acts as a placeholder, will be screwed into the implant and will remain in place during the healing process. The gums are closed over the implant. At the end of these procedures, you go through a healing period that may last 2 to 4 months.
Once the healing period is over and the implant has fused to the bone, dentist places the abutment which is an extension of the implant metal post, followed by your new artificial tooth.
How Long Does It Take to Place Dental Implants?
It depends on the number and location of the implants, but simple, uncomplicated dental implant placement usually takes less than an hour.
What To Expect After Procedure?
Your dentist will give you instructions on how to look after your implant. Dentist can give you some painkillers after the surgery. Generally there are no open wounds with implant surgery so healing is quite quick and un-eventful. You can expect some minor discomfort, but that can generally be managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or similar medication in prescription strength. It’s generally important to avoid exposing any recent surgical site in the mouth to food if possible. A good rule of thumb is to eat soft, nutritious foods and keep well hydrated. Your dentist will recommend a diet and instructions on how to care for your new implants during healing.
If provisional restorations were placed along with the dental implant, it will be important to clean them as you would your natural teeth to ensure the best possible healing and fusing of the implant.
How Long Dental Implants Last?
Once a dental implant has fused to the bone successfully and it is functional, it should last many years if cared for properly. Many implants have now been in place for more than 40 years.
Success Rates for Dental Implants
Dental implants have a success rate of up to 95%. But success rates may vary, depending on many factors, such as the position in the jaw and thickness of the bone.