There are a number of ways of replacing one or more of your missing teeth. Dental implants are an alternative to complete or partial dentures and bridges. Their main role is to support the artificially replaced teeth by acting as replacements for the missing roots. The appearance is similar to that of natural teeth and is comfortable.
Basically, dental implants are artificial roots made from titanium metal. They are inserted into the jawbone to act as replacements for natural teeth. The implant is attached to the artificial tooth that is to be put into place. Implants act as anchors for holding the replacements into position.
Who carries out this procedure?
A dentist recommends when a person needs to have an implant as an alternative. When that is the case, he or she directs the person to specialists who are trained in the area. Specialists who perform these duties are known as periodontists or maxillofacial and oral surgeons. Those who put dentures, bridges and crowns in place are known as prosthodontists.
The right time to go for implants
Implants are recommended for people with good general health, enough bone in their jaws with healthy gums to strongly hold them into place. For those whom their jawbone is not developed normally or shrunk, having a bone graft to build up their bone is recommended. Bone grafting is a procedure done as a remedy of adding new bone to the jawbone. The procedure is recommended a dental specialist.
Placing the implants in a day
- The specialist or dentist does careful examination of one’s mouth and takes x-rays of the jaw, teeth and head to find out if they are the best solution for an individual.
- The very first surgical step is for the specialist to put the dental implant into the jawbone and it is normally under the gum tissue. Stitching of the gum tissue into place is then done. The implant then bonds with the bone and attaches to the gum as the tissue heals. Several months are needed for complete healing.
- The second surgical stage begins one the tissue has healed. An abutment is attached to the implant. This is a post which aids with the connection of the implant with the tooth. In some cases, both the second and first stages are carried out together.
- A preparation of the artificial tooth is done and the specialist or dentist attaches it with the abutment. Several appointments are needed for complete fitting of the abutment with the tooth to take place.
- Anchoring a fixed bridge to the dental implants is needed when replacement of several or all of the teeth is to be done. A bridge is defined as a dental restoration which replaces one or many missing teeth by spanning them into the targeted area. Dental implants hold the bridge firmly at both ends of the missing teeth or teeth.
Caring for dentures and implants
Since they are attached into the jawbone, these artificially replaced teeth work as natural teeth. That being the case, they need to be cleaned like natural teeth with the help of a floss and toothbrush. Dentists normally demonstrate proper cleaning procedures to their clients. Conducting regular visits to the dentist is necessary so as to ensure they are not loose and are in the needed working condition.
- Most dentists schedule their checkups the following year as a means of ensuring the implants are in a proper working condition
- Good hygienic care has to be taken
- They normally cost more as compared to other teeth replacement methods and may fail to be covered by most dental plans. As opposed to other techniques or replacement, it is a one-time cost.
- Though rare, injury to the sinus cavity or nearby muscles numbness, infection and bleeding are some of the possible complications associated with this procedure. Failure to bond well with the bone may also make the process to be unsuccessful.