What are dental implants?
Dental implants are used to replace tooth roots and can help someone to reconstruct the teeth that have all been lost in one or both jaws. An Implant is a surgical fixture that can be placed into the jawbone and fuse with the bone. They are made from titanium which due to its attribute is not get rejected by the body.
When a person is suffering from missing teeth, bone loss and caries, placement of a dental implant can significantly improve the patient’s confidence and the oral health with artificial teeth that look and function much like natural ones. Dental implants require that the jaw has enough bone to support the implants and that the structure of the bone is strong.
Why dental implants?
Dental implants are surgically fitted in the jawbone where they consider as the roots of missing teeth. Since the titanium implants can fuse with your jawbone like a permanent fixture, the implants won’t move or cause any discomforts. Following is a list of why we should consider having dental implants:
- High success rate
Success rates of dental implants vary depending on where the implants are placed in the jaw, however; dental implants have a success rate of up to 98% if it’s performed by maxillofacial surgeon! If you follow the instruction of the doctors with a proper care, the implants can last even a lifetime
An implant has the potential to last lifetime if you maintain them and have a proper care. This is also important to consider for those who might have an estimated budget and concern about the initial cost of the treatment! Patients who select cheap low- quality materials, may not be aware that their dental implants are not FDA approved like buying a car, they come in different sizes, shapes, surface textures and materials.
- Affordable maintenance
once the implants have healed properly, you should look after them regularly like your natural teeth. You wont need to purchase special substances for cleaning them or adhesion. Even though the initial cost is higher, the aftercare would be more affordable.
- Can be attached to dentures (if required)
Although dental crowns usually preferred to dentures, they can also improve your smile if you do need to use a denture. One of the common issues that we have seen is that the dentures can move or causing discomfort in various ways.
- Aesthetic improvement
A dental implant is a great solution to improve your smile and cover the teeth that have been missing for years. Obviously, a missing tooth can impact your confident and an implant can be the best alternative for this problem to bring your confidence back.
- They look like natural teeth
Dental implants are designed to take to the jaw and look natural. The titanium post on the bottom takes the place of the natural tooth root and brings support and strength. Once the implants have taken and the surgical site has healed, the metal part is no longer visible. However; the dental crown, bridge, or denture is the part that can be seen in the mouth.
People who are dealing with missing teeth will know this can affect the way you feel about yourself and your appearance. Getting a flawless smile that will restore your teeth can improve your outlook as well as your oral health.
- Prevent bone reabsorption
One of the main consequences of a missing tooth is that your jaw bone will lose density and you will have lack of bone over time. The jawbone is designed to attach to the teeth and the chewing action can put pressure which can stimulates the jawbone and keeps it healthy. Without this action, the bone may start to deteriorate and if you have dentures that apply pressure or rub the jawbone hardly, this also can happen even faster.
The durability provided by the implants offers a solid connection for the replacement teeth hence, the patient can entirely enjoy any type of food without even needing to worry about looseness or placing dentures.
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Who is a suitable candidate for implant procedure?
There is no age limit to who can have dental implants. As a matter of fact, all ages over 18 can be an appropriate candidate for having implants procedure but It is not recommended to apply surgical procedures on diabetic, heart disturbance, high blood pressure patients unless they refer to their GP to arrange the dosage of medicines or visit the relevant doctor and ask for an approval to start the required treatment. If the patient is taking any medication or is allergic to any medicines, they need to inform the dentist accordingly. The patients who are suffering from osteoporosis, they also may be a good candidate for dental implants due to their bone loss but actually, they will be able to have the procedure. The majority of people who are in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s have gotten dental implants and experienced amazing treatment results
How long the procedure takes?
The Implants procedure can be done in two parts because the bones need a 3 to 6 months healing time, this ensures the jaw has properly integrated with the implants, it depends on the bone’s structure and body’s ability to heal. Here are the steps that you can expect to go through for implants process:
- Consultation and X-ray: Before the implant process begins, your will get examined by the oral surgeon to determine your needs. Apart from the X-ray, a tomography scan will be taken so our dental experts can see everything in full extent and assess your dental health, especially the bone condition that will support the implants.
- Removal of teeth: The next step is the removal of the rotten, damaged and unhealthy teeth that won’t be preserved by any treatment and require extractions. The extraction usually must be done by the oral surgeon although there are dentists who specialize in implantology and do the entire process start to finish.
- Placement of implants: After extractions, the oral surgeon drills into the jawbone and puts the implant itself into the specified places. The implant is essentially an artificial tooth root so it needs to be anchored deep into the bone like a natural tooth. Since the new bone grows around the new implant, a process known as osseointegration that you will place a removable denture temporarily to cover the gap where your tooth was taken out.
- Bone grafting: during the initial exam, if it’s determined that you don’t have sufficient bone to support the implant (bone loss), the oral surgeon will need to perform bone grafting. There are synthetic and natural donor bone options, the new bone structure grows to accommodate the implants during the healing time.
- Abutments: After three or six months, when enough bone has grown in to stabilize, the part of the implant that will hold the crown in place, our dental team given an abutment where the implant is exposed and the crowns would be on top of those.
- Crowns: In the final step, the crown will be fitted permanently. The crowns can be designed by CEREC machine to match the color, shape and size of your other teeth. This is also can be done by making molds or digital impressions of your existing teeth and jaw after the abutments are placed.
When bone grafting is required?
When your teeth have been missing for many years or If your jawbone isn’t thick enough, you may need bone grafting before you can have dental implant procedure. The reason for this is to reinforce the gums as a bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant
There are several bone graft materials that can be used to rebuild a jawbone. It may include a natural bone graft, taking from another location in your body or a synthetic bone graft like bone-substitute material that can provide support structures for new bone growth.
Is Getting a Dental Implant Painful?
The most common method that we use for implant procedure is local anesthesia, however; it can be applied under general anesthesia or sedation if the patient requested. It is possible that there will be some swelling, bruising on your skin and gums, and a slight bleeding after the implant procedure or bone addition. In this case, it is important that you rest for a couple of days and follow your doctor’s instruction. Moreover, you may need painkillers and antibiotics after dental implant surgery. It is recommended that patients need to eat soft foods while the surgical site is healing. Typically, your surgeon will use dissolve stitches so they will come out by their own. In case that your stitches aren’t self-dissolving, your doctor will remove them.
How Do I Maintain Dental Implants?
Dental implants need the same care as regular teeth such as brushing three times a day, flossing, gargling with a mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups every 6 months especially for those patients who have periodontal problems.
Are there any risks?
Like any surgeries, dental implant procedure also carries a risk although it rarely happens. Some of the possible issues are such as:
- Sinusitis problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus nerves
- Injury to surrounding structures such as other teeth or blood vessels
- Extensive Infection around the implant site