What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots positioned surgically into the jawbone beneath the gums. It is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or a bridge. Dental implants may be an option for those who have lost a tooth due to injuries or periodontal diseases. If well maintained, dental implants should last for the rest of your life.
Implants fuse with your jawbone after the surgery, a process that takes several months. To replace missing teeth, dentures, bridges or crowns can be attached to the implant.
To some people, ordinary dentures and bridges are not comfortable because of sore spots, gagging or poor ridges. In addition, the ordinary bridges have to be attached to the teeth on both sides of the space which is left aside by the tooth.
To receive an implant, healthy gums and enough bone to sustain the implant is needed.
Types of Dental Implants
Endosteal (in the bone)
This is the most commonly used implant. They are surgically implanted into your jawbone. After the healing of the immediate gum tissue, a second implant is required to join a post to the implant originally available. An artificial tooth is finally joined to the post individually. It is generally used as an alternative for patients with removable dentures or bridges.
Subperiosteal (on the bone)
These implants are placed on top of the jaw with a metal frameworks post protruding through the gum to make sure that the gum holds the prosthesis. As the gum heals, the frame is attached to the jawbone. The artificial tooth or teeth is then finally build up to the posts.
Alternatives Techniques for Dental Implants
Mini implants are smaller than the most commonly used dental implant sizes. They are placed through less invasive techniques and they measure less that 3 mm in diameter.
All on 4
This is an alternative approach to place a full arch of fixed replacement teeth. Four dental implants are used to stabilize the replacement teeth. This concept involves placing implants on the bone available; therefore there is no need of bone grafting. After six months, a final bridge is placed and the patient resumes normal diet.
Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery
Be prepared for some X-ray to check the thickness and shape of your jawbone.
You may have a sedative to relieve anxiety and to help in relaxation.
Some hospitals administer general anesthesia.
The dentists discuss what happens before, during and after the procedure and expected pain. This helps you to be informed so as to give a go ahead to the procedure which is done by signing a consent form.
The first most stage involves burying the implant flush surgically with the bone underneath the gum.
The second stage involves checking of the implant for successful integration and connects some form of post that penetrates into the mouth through the gum. The gum is allowed to heal and form a cuff through which dentist has access to the implant when he will be preparing the final restorative stage.
The last stage consists of fabricating and connecting the prosthetic teeth to the integrated implant.
After the Surgery
- Sedation and anesthesia temporarily affect your coordination and reasoning skills.
- Some little pain and discomfort is felt in the mouth.
- Eat only soft food after having the surgery.
- Do not eat hot foods and drinks until the mouth condition normalizes.
- Keep your mouth clean by flossing and brushing. Use special brushes that are able to clean between your teeth.
Advantages of Teeth Implants
- Improved appearance
- Improved speech
- Easier eating
- Improved self esteem
- Improved oral health
Side Effects and Complications
- Some swelling and discomfort around the implant area
- Unexpected reactions to the anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Lose implants due to improper fusing with the jawbone