What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a medical device used to replace a/the, missing tooth/teeth which in turn helps in function and appearance. It is surgically inserted into the jaw where it fuses with the bone and mimics the root of a natural tooth. This contact and fusion of dental implant surface with the jawbone is called ‘osseointegration’. This process is of utmost importance as it determines the stability of an implant and its long term clinical success. Dental implants are now considered as a basic form of standard of care for replacing the missing tooth/teeth.
When and why does a dentist advice you for dental implants?
As mentioned above, dental implants are used to restore the function of the missing teeth. There are several ways to replace a missing tooth which either can be removable or a fixed prosthesis. A dentist may advice you for an implant based on certain factors which are as follows:
- Which is/are the missing tooth/teeth (location)?
- Adequate bone quantity and quality around the missing tooth/teeth
- Age of the patient (only after growth is complete)
- Systemic health of the patient (determines the healing process)
- Cost preference of the patient
- Smoking habits (affects the healing and success of the treatment procedure)
What are its benefits?
There are many benefits of dental implants over other available treatment options (removable dentures, dental bridge etc) for missing teeth.
- Dental implant engages the jawbone and achieves stability; hence it behaves as close as possible to a natural tooth. The stability of dental implants is far superior to that achieved by adhesive fixed dentures and bridges.
- As dental implant is inserted into the jawbone, no adjacent healthy teeth need to be altered for support which needs to be done in dental bridges.
- Dental implant helps prevent bone loss which occurs in case of dentures. After a tooth is extracted, there is significant reduction in the bone volume over the years (height, width, length) due to lack of stimulation and proprioception. But if the missing tooth is restored with an implant, the patient is able to chew efficiently providing the necessary stimulation for bone growth.
- Dental implants also improve the facial appearance. It helps prevent sagging of the face, premature wrinkles around the oral cavity, drooping of the lips etc as it maintains the surrounding bone and oro-facial structures.
What are dental implants made of?
Currently, dental implants are mainly made of two materials: Titanium and Zirconia.
Titanium is the most commonly used material whereas zirconia is considered to be a recent finding.
Titanium is a preferred material of choice for a dental implant by most dentists due to its non- corrosive, strong and biocompatible properties. It is well accepted by the body and non-toxic to the surrounding oral tissues preventing its inflammation. It also helps with the process of osseointegration whereby it encourages bone growth around dental implants. Zirconia has similar properties and advised to patients who are allergic to metals.
What are the parts of a dental implant?
Dental implant is made of 4 parts: a fixture, abutment and prosthesis.
A fixture is a screw-like post (implant itself) that is placed surgically into the bone, initiating bone deposition around itself.
An abutment is the connection between the fixture and the prosthesis. Since the fixture lies within the bone, the prosthesis can only be attached to it with the help of an extension, i.e. an abutment.
A prosthesis is that part of the dental implant that can be seen in the oral cavity either as a crown, bridge or denture.
Preparations before Dental Implant Procedure
Dentist will perform the intra-oral examination for accurate information involving the site of implant placement during the consult. Records needed before treatment planning of dental implants are as follows:
Blood sugar report
Vitamin C, D3 and serum calcium reports
Medical condition and drug history
Study models made from the impressions of both the jaws
Intra-oral periapical radiographs/ orthopantomagram (OPG)
The success rate of dental implants is considered to be almost 98%.
However, certain factors do contribute to implant failure (smoking, tobacco chewing, severe diabetes etc).
In case of an implant failure, bone will not be formed adequately around the implant which leads to implant mobility. In such cases, the implant is removed, the area is allowed to heal for a period of 3 to 4 months and then the implant can be placed again.
Looking at the advantages and the success rate that the dental implant provides, it is now considered a standard of care.
To avoid pain during and after the procedure, a prescription of antibiotics and analgesics are advised. The entire procedure is always performed under local anesthesia. After the procedure, few instructions are recommended by the dentist to avoid pain and any other complications
After extraction of the tooth, implant is generally placed in a period of 2 to 4 months depending on the location and once the implant is osseointegrated (another 2-6 months), prosthetic part is delivered.
Implants can be done only after the growth of an individual is complete (usually after 20 years of age)
Dental implants at DreamSmilez/Prakruthi Dental Clinic
DreamSmilez/Prakruthi Dental Clinic are a group of professionally managed, family-friendly center to provide all the dental treatment modalities with painless experience at an affordable cost.
Our special focus is not only on treatment, but on prevention as well. We can help you and your loved ones prevent and reduce dental ailments. If you need an experienced dental team, we can help you.
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