Dental implants are prosthetic fixtures that are surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace one or more missing or damaged teeth. Dental implants have become widely popular and are available in various forms for replacing missing teeth, filling cavities, and treating other related dental problems.
What are Dental Implants made from?
Considering that they go deep beyond the gum into the underlying jawbone structure, it is important that implants are made from material that’s compatible with the human bone structure and texture. Titanium plays this role perfectly and has been consistently used in the manufacture of dental implants. It often takes the form of a screw that can settle snugly into the jawbone just like the root(s) of the missing tooth or teeth.
Why should you consider dental implants?
You may be wondering why Dental Implants seem to be such a good idea, here are a couple of reasons:
Flexibility: Dental Implants serve as the anchor for so many other forms of teeth replacement. Dental bridges, dental crowns and other teeth replacement procedures all use dental implants as anchors. All on Four implants are another application in which dental implants are deployed by placing a full set of teeth on just four titanium screws.
Independence: Some of the previously mentioned teeth replacement procedures require one or more existing teeth (known as the abutment teeth) for support. This may weaken the overall teeth structure by putting extra pressure on the abutment teeth. Dental implants do not need any other teeth for support. They stand alone and this prevents the need to pressure the other teeth unnecessarily.
Longevity: When properly done, dental implants can last for as long as 25 years or more if they’re well taken care of. Dental implants are a long-term solution worth the cost and effort required to get one.
What constitutes a dental implant procedure?
Inserting a dental implant requires undergoing a minor surgical procedure, there are some preparatory steps the dentist must take before going ahead with the procedure.
Evaluation: This may include CT scans and X-rays to get a proper understanding of the present state of the gums, surrounding teeth, and underlying jawbone. This will help to determine whether an implant is the best option and where exactly it should be inserted. It is also important to determine whether a bone graft will be needed to prepare the jawbone for the dental implant.
Bone Grafting: In some instances, the jawbone may not be strong enough to support the titanium screw from a dental implant. If this is the case, a bone graft is used to reinforce the proposed implant site and another appointment is scheduled to perform the implant surgery.
The surgery: Local anesthesia would be administered to prevent any pain or discomfort during the surgery. The dentist will start by extracting any decaying or broken tooth still present before inserting the titanium screw using a drill and other devices. Any incisions made are sutured up and an ice pack is applied to prevent swelling while the anesthesia wears off.
Post-Surgery: A recovery period of between 2 months and 6 months is necessary to allow the implant to grow and get integrated into the jawbone. The biological process of titanium bonding with the jawbone is known as osseointegration and it must be completed before the prosthetic tooth or dental crown is attached to the implant.
Are there possible side effects?
Yes, a few mild side effects may spring up. But the chances are quite low and are always mild if they ever come up.
Infection: This may occur shortly after the surgery when the gum and surrounding areas are still sore and vulnerable. Keeping proper dental hygiene and taking necessary precautions will help to prevent it. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to clear any infections.
Bleeding: Be careful to avoid chewing vigorously in the days after the surgery as this can bruise the gums and lead to bleeding. Brushing should only be done carefully with a soft toothbrush and sensitive toothpaste. More importantly, report any bleeding to the dentist as soon as it is noticed.