What are dental implants?
These are permanent artificial teeth that are implanted into your jaw. A dental implant consists of three parts.
First is the cylinder, made of titanium, that is implanted into the bone socket of the jaw to serve as the root or foundation of the artificial tooth.
The second part is the abutment, which will be attached to the cylinder when it grows. This serves as the connector that will hold the new tooth.
The last one is the crown or the actual replacement tooth. This is custom-made to copy the shape and colour of your actual teeth.
Who needs dental implants?
Although there have been great improvements in oral care, many people still lose teeth due to old age, infection, cavities, or accidents. A person with a missing tooth might suffer from loss of self-confidence. This may also lead to gum disease, eating difficulty, and damage to remaining teeth.
Getting a dental implant is the perfect teeth replacement option for people uncomfortable with using dental bridges or dentures.
Advantages of Dental Implants
These are the common benefits of having your teeth replaced permanently.
- It looks very much like a real tooth. This will improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth.
- It will eliminate the discomfort and nuisance from wearing and removing dentures repeatedly.
- Implants function like real teeth. There will be no more difficulty in eating and talking.
- Since implants are easy to clean, oral hygiene will be better and oral health will improve in the long run.
- The success rate is very high at 98%. Moreover, these are very durable and can last up to a lifetime with proper dental care.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two common types of implants.
Endosteal implants. These are the most popular type of implant cylinders. Made from titanium, these are implanted directly into the jawbone.
Subperiosteal implants. These are placed on top of the jawbone just after the gums. Dentists usually recommend subperiosteal implants to patients whose jaws are not healthy or dense enough.
Dental Implant Procedures
Consultation and Evaluation
After the initial consult, patients must complete a comprehensive dental exam to help dentists determine the condition. Results from scans and X-rays of the mouth will be taken into consideration before finalizing the best treatment plans for the patients.
Who is not a candidate?
In general, those who do not have healthy gums and enough bones in the jaw are not ideal candidates for dental implant surgery. Patients with diabetes also need further assessment due to possible healing complications.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
Dentures are removable false teeth that many people use to hide missing teeth. Complete dentures are used to replace all teeth. These are much more affordable than implants and would usually last for several years.
Dental bridges can close the gaps due to missing teeth. The different types of bridges are traditional, cantilever, and Maryland. The cost and procedures differ depending on the type and severity of the case.
The Step by Step Process
Note that the process involves several stages and may span for a few months.
First, the dentist will perform tooth removal if necessary.
Second, bone grafting will be performed in special cases. This is done to prepare jawbones that are not thick enough for surgery.
The third stage is the implantation of a tooth root or cylinder. This small post made of titanium will be placed into the jawbone of the missing tooth through a surgery.
Next stage is waiting for the jawbone to heal and for the cylinder to grow, which could take anywhere from two to three months.
Once the cylinder has grown and completely bonded to the jawbone, the abutment will be placed on top. During this time, the patient may be given a temporary crown.
Meanwhile, the dentists are also preparing the permanent crown or artificial tooth by getting impressions of your actual teeth. Once ready, the crown will be attached to the abutment and you now have a new permanent tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do implants hurt?
Despite the work needed to be done by the surgeon, patients will only feel very little pain due to anesthesia. During the surgery, the patient will remain awake so there might be a little discomfort. After surgery, expect to feel manageable pain as well.
The whole process of getting implants is considered safe, especially when performed by a qualified oral surgeon at a reputable clinic like Grand Dental. There are always risks, but a highly-skilled professional with the right tools can minimize the risks associated with surgery.
After each surgery, it is normal to feel mild pain and discomfort. There might be swelling and minimal bleeding. It is important to limit physical activities and only eat soft foods.
As with any surgery, there are possible risks and complications during and after the procedure. Here are the most common ones.
- Periodontitis or infection of the gum around the implant site
- problems with the sinus
- nerve damage
Dental implants don’t come cheap. The cost varies from person to person, depending on the procedures and condition of the teeth. The best way to get an estimate is to get a consultation with your dentist or periodontist.
The actual implants or abutment cylinder that serve as support can last for a lifetime. This makes the cost of the whole procedure worth it. In some cases, the crowns may need replacement after 10-15 years.
Keep in mind that without proper oral hygiene, bacteria build-up can lead to failure of the surgery especially during the recovery period. The best way to take care of your teeth and implants is by brushing and flossing regularly.
How do I take care of my implants?
Artificial teeth do not decay due to cavities, but they can also develop plaques that often lead to gum disease and infection. Clean the implants like how you would clean your natural teeth. This means that you have to brush at least twice and floss at least once each day.
To further protect the teeth, use a low abrasion toothpaste. It is also best to avoid cigarettes and tobacco. Lastly, always visit your dentist and get a professional cleaning every six months.
If you have a missing tooth, there are different dental treatments available. While using dentures is the most common option, many people appreciate a permanent solution like dental implants. Because these are secured in the jawbone, the implants look and function like real teeth.
Not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure, so it is important to undergo a thorough oral examination before pushing for this dental treatment. The whole process is safe and effective, but proper aftercare and hygiene are crucial to maintaining good oral health.
Only licensed and knowledgeable professionals like Dr Max of Grand Dental Clinic should perform implant dentistry. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you get the best treatment.