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Dental Implants

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Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are easily the most popular and also the ideal solution, for replacing your missing tooth/teeth. They have definitely changed the course of dentistry in the last quarter of a century or so.

A dental implant is basically a titanium post which is surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum line to work as a tooth root. Post insertion, an implantologist will attach a crown on top of the implant to ensure the appearance of a natural tooth.

Tooth Implants not only look and feel like your natural teeth but also function like.

Why Dental Implants?

One can face the problem of missing teeth at any point in life. Tooth loss can be due to trauma, accident, severe gum disease, tooth decay or even due to poor oral hygiene. If left untreated missing teeth can lead to various consequences such as:

  • Speech problems resulting from the gap created by one or more missing teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Face may start look older and wrinkled with sunken cheeks as missing teeth can cause sagging of muscles which can’t support lips & cheeks
  • Pain in the facial muscles of the jaw resulting in an improper bite induced by the missing teeth
  • Tooth decay and gum disease, over time, due to plaque accumulation & food entrapment in the gap caused by the missing teeth
  • Improper bite resulting from a tilt of adjacent teeth into the empty spaces caused by a missing tooth
  • Untreated missing teeth may dent the facial appearance causing low set-esteem or lack of confidence
  • Hiding smile during conversations or at public gatherings to avoid the embarrassment caused by a bad smile from missing teeth

Dental Implants help to overcome all the above-mentioned problems. They are no doubt the best, and most popular solution for the replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants are fit for every individual having missing teeth irrespective of their age and gender.

With a 98% success rate, implants assure dental patients about their teeth and gum’s wellbeing.

Dental Implants are essentially a ‘titanium screw’ which is fused with the Jaw Bone.

Advantages of Dental Implants
  • Dental Implants help restore the lost tooth and become the next best thing to your natural teeth
  • Implants are a durable solution with the potential to even outlive the patient
  • Dental Implants help maintain the shape and contour of face & smile which can go wrong due to missing teeth making the facial muscles sag
  • Implants don’t harm the adjacent tooth structure in any manner and protect healthy bone
  • Implants ensure superior appearance and comfort with no speech issue to deal
  • Implants boost your self-esteem for being a perfect solution to the missing tooth
  • Implants give the freedom to enjoy your favourite foods without any worry
Dental Implant Procedure

Placing a dental implant has various stages. They are listed as below:

Placing the Implant

Thanks to the modern dentistry techniques, it’s possible to make the implant placement procedure comfortable and pain-free. Concerned patients can also ask the dentist for sedation to feel relaxed while a dental implant is placed.

The procedure starts with the jawbone preparation, and the surgeon then makes a cut to expose the bone for drilling holes. The holes are kept deep enough for the implant to be placed properly and placed deep into the bone, like the root.

The doctor may require bone grafting in cases where the bone is weak or lacks the strength to support implant surgery. The surgeon then waits for the jawbone to heal and after that, places the metal post in it.

The entire process, from start to finish, may take many months where most of the time is spent on healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in the jaw.

After this, a temporary crown is given to the patient which is placed to fill the gap, and also for achieving the aesthetic goal. This crown can be taken off for implant procedure, one has to wait until the bone is healed properly

Healing

During this process, the jawbone will grow and unite with the surface of the dental implant. This process is also referred to as osseointegration as it helps to offer a durable base for the new artificial tooth, much like roots do for the natural teeth.

In general, this process takes between 3 to 6 months depending on the bone health & structure. However, the whole procedure can get completed in one day itself when patients have good bone structure.

After that, you can schedule the second surgery but only once the implants are fused with the bone. Your dentists will take an x-ray to confirm whether the implant is fit for the second surgery.

The second surgery will be simpler than the first where a new incision is made to expose the heads of the implants.

Abutment placement

You may need another surgery to place the abutment (the piece where the crown will attach) but only after healing is complete. This procedure is relatively simple typically done with anesthesia in an outpatient setting.

During the procedure, the dentist will re-open the wound to attach the abutment to dental implant. A temporary crown will be given for 4 to 6 weeks to let the gums around the abutment heal. Such a crown is softer which can cushion the implant and may stress the soft tissues that can help in healing.

For precaution purpose, you may need to eat only soft foods after each stage of surgery so to let the surgical site heal properly.

Placement of permanent Crown

In the next stage, the dentist will focus on making the permanent crown look exactly like your natural teeth. All the elements like the surface texture, color and anatomy will be tuned up to blend with the surrounding dentition.

If you are not happy with the crown for any reason, consult your dentist so that it can be sent back to the dental technician for necessary changes.

Impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth are taken to make the crown so that a realistic-looking artificial tooth can be made. The crown, however, will not be placed until the jawbone is strong enough to support the new tooth.

It takes less than 2 to 3 weeks to make a permanent crown which will then be cemented or screwed to the Implant.

After permanent crown placement, your doctor will explain post-implant care instruction.

Dental Implant Cost

The cost of dental implants may worry some patients; however, implants are not too heavy on your pocket. There are multiple parts to each procedure which actually leads to a perception of implants being expensive. It is critical to understand that if a missing tooth is not replaced with an implant, sooner or later the adjacent teeth start shifting and jawbone loss also starts which ultimately would turn out to be much more expensive to manage than a single dental implant.

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