- by Net Pro Referral
- 06 Sep 2018
What Are Dental Implants - A Complete Guide
Your smile is your ticket to the world. After all, it is the first thing people notice about you. However, if for any reason, you don’t have that perfect natural smile, you may look for ways to fix that imperfection.
Today, cosmetic dentistry has reached to such an extent that you can get the desired smile easily. In today’s post, we will shed light on what dental implants are, how they work and a few dental implant tips.
What are dental implants?
It is a type of cosmetic dentistry that is a prosthetic replacement for missing teeth. In layman’s term, it is a false tooth root that is implanted into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth. In short, the dental implant takes the place of missing teeth.
Usually, implants are composed of 3 parts:
Generally, it is made out of ceramic material and looks like a natural tooth.
Also known as an abutment, it is used to secure the crown to its base. You will often see it in an octagonal or hexagonal shape.
It is a titanium-made screw that is placed inside your natural bone so that implant has a safe and stable base.
Note: The crown is the only part you will see in the mouth.
Why do you need dental implants?
Severely Broken Tooth:
We may encounter tooth misfortune at any age and there could be plenty of reasons for the same, such as gum ailment, sports-related dental injury, poor oral hygiene, etc.
If your broken tooth can’t be secured without restorative dentistry techniques, your dentist may suggest you go for the dental implant.
If you have got sick of wearing a loose-fitting denture, maybe it is the time to get dental implants. It is really annoying to deal with imperfect denture fittings.
Dental implants can be a good option to replace your denture or partials. Moreover, unlike dentures, they will never fall out in public.
Most people are not aware that dental implants help in the prevention of bone loss in your jaw. When you choose a fixed bridge over dental implants, you jawbone starts deteriorating beneath the missing tooth. It happens because, without a tooth, you don’t get enough stimulation to the bone.
On the other hand, with the dental implants, you have an artificial tooth root (made of titanium) that stimulates jaw bone just like the original tooth.
Preserve Facial Appearance:
You might have noticed most of the people who wear denture on a regular basis have sunken-in face appearance. It happens because jawbone is starting to deteriorate for missing teeth (as we mentioned above). It may make you look older than you are. The dental implant can solve this problem to a great extent.
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants procedure may involve one or more surgical procedures as per the condition of a patient. Since these implants come in distinct heights and types, a dental surgeon will determine which is the best option for you.
Speaking of types of dental implants, there are two main types:
Endosteal is the most common dental implant type. Crafted with titanium and shaped like screws, these dental implants are placed in the jawbone.
Unlike endosteal, these implants are planted under the gum but above the jawbone. Usually, this type of surgery is used for patients who don’t have a healthy natural jawbone and can’t undergo augmentation procedure to reconstruct them.
In case your jawbone is not in the state to support dental implants, there are several ways to rebuild your natural jawline so that a strong foundation can be created for your implanted teeth. Some of the ideal ways to do that are:
● Bone Augmentation
Bone augmentation procedure involves regenerating and restoring of bone in your jaw by grafting bone or bone-like material to jaw so that it can support implants.
● Ridge Expansion
This procedure is usually picked when your jaw is not broad enough to hold dental implants. A surgeon may add a bone graft material on the top of your jaw in this procedure.
How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?
Well, it depends on the severity of your dental problem. In addition to this, there could be various other factors that may impact the length of time it will take to finish your procedure. For example, if you need to undergo bone grafting procedure, it may take a considerably longer time as, after bone grafting, recovery (healing) may take from 2 weeks to 3 months.
Dental Implants Preparation:
Bone grafting is not the only preparatory treatment. In case, if you’re suffering from a periodontal disease, the dental surgeon will need to restore the health of your gum that may delay the procedure for several months.
Dental Implant Placement:
Once your bones and gums are healthy enough to support dental implants, your surgeon will proceed with the first phase. In this stage, the dental implant will be surgically infused into your jawbone. This procedure may take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. However, if you need to undergo multiple implants, surgery time may be extended.
Note- Dental implants take about 4 to 6 months to heal depending on how quickly your body heals. Bones will get combined with the implants during this period, usually called the osseointegration process.
Abutment and Prosthetic Tooth Placement:
Once osseointegration is over, it is time for the final stage of the dental implant procedure. In this stage, an abutment (titanium rod) is attached to the dental implant, which will connect your implant to your prosthetic tooth.
How Painful Is a Dental Implant?
Many people avoid dental implants just because they think that treatment is painful. However, it is just a misconception. On the contrary, it is quite a straightforward procedure even than extracting a diseased tooth. Since anaesthesia is given before placing the dental implant, the patient does not feel any pain.
Downsides of Dental Implants:
Though dental implant is a pretty safe, yet like any other surgery, it may have some health risks. Side effects of the dental implant are rare and can be easily treated. Some of the side effects are:
● Infection near the implant site.
● Risk of injury to enclosing structures.
● Risk of nerve damage that may cause pain or tingle in your natural teeth.
● Sinus infection. Usually, it happens when the dental implant is placed in the upper jaw extending into your sinus cavities.
Alternatives to Dental Implants:
For many people, dental implants are a good choice when it comes to tooth replacement. And why not? They look and function exactly like natural teeth and prevent jaw bone loss as well. But as everyone's situation is different, for some patients it may not be a good choice.
If you’re in a situation when you need a tooth replacement, it is vital that you look for the best option available for you. Here, we have put together a few alternatives to dental implants.
Full Mouth Dentures:
If all of your teeth are missing, you may consider this option.
It is a good choice when you have some healthy teeth as well.
Unlike above-mentioned alternatives, fixed bridges are fixed in place using a special kind of bonding material.
Over the last 30 years, modern dental implants have developed to a great extent. Today, it is considered one of the safest procedures to restore the function of a missing tooth. Only in the United States, more than 3 million people undergo dental implant surgery every year. Hopefully, our post eliminates the misconceptions about dental implants that you might have.