Tooth loss is quite common and can occur due to various reasons, such as, tooth decay, failure of a root canal procedure, gum disease or periodontitis, accidental breakage, or too much wear and tear. If you do happen to lose your permanent teeth, apart from the aesthetic aspects, it can also affect your health, since you may not be able to eat many of the nutritious foods essential for your well-being. However, this problem can be resolved by getting dental implants. Although bridgework and dentures are certain options, many people feel that implants are superior to those options. This is because they are more comfortable, secure, and effective. Dental implants are a means of replacing natural teeth that may have been lost due to various reasons.
What are Dental Implants?
Introduction of dental implants is one the most revolutionary advances in the dentistry field. It is an artificial root that is made of a light and yet tough metal, like titanium, which is implanted into the jawbone in place of the root of the missing tooth. Next, an extension is fixed to the dental implant. And, finally, an artificial replacement tooth is fixed to the implant. Thus, the implant serves as an anchor for holding the replacement tooth. In case, there are a number of missing teeth, several implants can be fixed, thus providing support for a whole arch of the teeth. Generally, the procedure can be done by using a local anaesthetic, with the individual awake during the process.
Who can have Dental implants?
Dental implants may be the right option, if an adult is generally healthy, with healthy gums, and there is enough strong bone in the jaw, which is important for holding the implant. In case the development of the jawbone is not normal or if it has shrunk, it will be built up by using a bone graft, which is a method of adding new bone to the jawbone. Listed below are some of the conditions that can determine if implants are a right option for you:
How is the procedure done?
- In case of the loss of one or more teeth
- Have a healthy and strong jawbone for securing the implants
- The oral tissues are healthy
- Don’t have health conditions that may impair bone healing
- Have the will of sufficient amount of time for the whole procedure
Initially, dental X-rays and several tests of the teeth
and gums are carried out to determine, if dental implants are the right option for you. Then the gum in the area, where the implant will be inserted, is cut and pushed aside, after which, a hole is drilled into the jawbone. The implant is then fitted into this hole, and the gum is placed back over it with the help of stitches. In case, there is not enough bone to hold the implant, the dentist will either perform a bone graft or use smaller implants.
After the implant is inserted, it is allowed to integrate with the bone in the area and heal, which can take around six weeks to six months. The rough surface of the implant acts as an anchor, on which, the bone tissue grows.
While this healing procedure is going on, either temporary teeth
, or bridges, are given to the patient, or they can continue using their dentures. However, ensure that you do not to put any pressure on the implant while it is healing.
Once the operated area is completely healed, the gum on the implant is cut and lifted once again, in order to fix a post to the implant, along with a temporary crown. It takes about 4-6 weeks for the surrounding gum tissue to mature. Once that is accomplished, the permanent replacement tooth will be fixed to the dental implant.
Taking care of the implants
Since implants are fixed inside the jawbone, the replacement teeth that are fixed to the implants appear and function exactly like the natural teeth
. Hence, they too, need to be cleaned and flossed, just as your natural teeth. You will be shown the correct way to clean your implants by your dentist. Plus, periodic checkups will be necessary, so that, your dentist can ensure that the implants haven’t loosened and the bite is correct.