Dental implants are the sought after treatment procedure to for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. Within the last couple of decades, the dental implants have certainly set a milestone in the field of dental care and treatment. For dental implants we require titanium posts which are surgically inserted in the jawbone to support as tooth root. Once the post is inserted, the implantologist will attach a crown to the titanium post to give it a natural appearance of tooth. Besides the look, these implants also function as regular teeth. These are durable solution to get your missing teeth back.
Why do you need dental implants?
Loss of tooth/teeth is possible at any point in life and there could be various reasons why one lost their teeth (for instance, due to trauma, severe gum disease, tooth decay, accident or simply poor oral hygiene). Without proper care and treatment, the missing tooth can make way for other oral issues such as:
- Speech problem due to missing single or multiple teeth.
- Problem with chewing food properly.
- Missing teeth can cause sagging of muscles and that means missing support for cheeks and lips and that means sunken cheeks and wrinkled skin (that will make you look older than you really are).
- Improper bite due to missing tooth can lead to conditions such as pain in the facial muscles or jaw area.
- Plaque accumulation over time in the missing tooth area can cause tooth decay and gum disease problem.
- Missing tooth will also result into improper bite.
- If left untreated, the missing teeth will certainly affect the overall facial appearance and that will affect your self-confidence.
- Missing teeth and bad smile will make you awkward during public gatherings and that might trigger feeling embarrassed speaking in public or in group.
Having dental implants will save you from all these getting rid of these oral health challenges. Dental implants are known as the best and sought after option for replacing the missing tooth/teeth. Despite your age type or gender, dental implants are effective and fit well for the patients who suffer from missing tooth problem. The success rate is quite high (98 percent) and once done, you can keep your dental and gum health in check. For dental implants we use titanium screws which are then fused with jaw bone.
Here are some of the advantages of having dental implants done
- Dental implants make up for your lost tooth and thus fill the gap you have in your teeth structure.
- Dental implants are long lasting and durable.
- With dental implants you can retain your face shape and contour of face as well as smile. Missing teeth can affect your overall face structure and thus dental implants are here to prevent such discomfort.
- It is easy to maintain your oral hygiene and healthy bone as dental implants don’t affect the neighboring teeth or bone area.
- You will not come across problems such as speech problem as dental implants are quite comfortable.
- Get your missing teeth gap filled and undo the sagged smile structure and regain your confidence (that was lost due to imperfect facial structure).
- It is easy to chew and relish your favorite food without any difficulty when you have dental implants to support your teeth.
Procedure for dental implant
The process of dental implant has couple of treatment stages and we will start with:
Placing the implant:
It is a pain-free process of placing the dental implant; however, you can ask your dentist for sedation if you are quite apprehensive about the procedure. First the jawbone will be prepared and examined by the surgeon and then after a cut is made to expose the bone of the target area so that drilling can be done. Drilled holes are important as they will place the implants in right place and function similar to roots.
In case the doctor finds that bone grafting is required on spots where bone is weak and requires strength. Once grafting is done and jawbone has healed, only then the implants can be done. The entire procedure of bone grafting to placing implants etc. can take couple of months to complete. The time consuming part is the healing and waiting for the jaw bone to grow stronger for the purpose.
Next comes the temporary crown to fill the gap and make teeth aesthetically fine. This crown can be removed or taken off when getting dental implant surgery.
The healing stage would include waiting for the jawbone to grow and unite with the surface of the dental implant. This healing process is called osseointegration in which durable base is used to support the artificial tooth. This healing process can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months (depends on the bone health and its structure).
In case the patient has satisfactory bone structure, it is possible to get done with the process in a single day. Once the implants are joined and blended with the bone, the second surgery can be scheduled with your doctor. Your dentist will run an X-ray scan on the target area to confirm if it is fine to go with the surgery and whether the implants are fixed on the set location.
After the healing stage and procedure related to it is complete, we will move on to the next phase of dental implant process and that would include abutment placement. Abutment is a piece or structure that is placed to give something for the crown to attach to. It is quite simple process and done as outpatient treatment (anesthesia is used).
Your dentist will attach the abutment to the dental implant and that could include re-opening of the wounds in the target area. Dentist will use a temporary crown to let the gums around the set abutment area heal. Since, it is in the middle of the surgery process, your dentist will suggest you to consume only soft food to keep gum and target area from any shock or stress.
Placing permanent crown:
In this stage of dental implant process you dentist will fix the permanent crown which will look similar to natural teeth. From surface texture, anatomy, dentition and other elements will be matched when designing the permanent crown for the affected teeth. In case you are not satisfied with the final product (dental crown) you can consult your dentist and they will send back the item and get it redone for the required changes.
Tooth impressions and other measurements will be taken before designing the dental crown for your teeth. The crown will be fixed only after your dentist is sure enough that your jawbone is ready for the setting.
Within 2 to 3 weeks your dental crown will be ready to set on the target area. Your dentist will assist you can consult you on how to take care of your implant after your dental implant has been placed.