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What are dental Implant?
There is nothing that is as good as your natural tooth. However, people can lose their teeth due to many reasons – decay, trauma, gum disease, bone disease, etc. In order to eat, chew and talk, we need our teeth. So, to restore a person’s missing tooth, dentistry provides a few options – dentures, crown and bridge and implants!
Implants are the latest advances in the field of prosthetics and are the closest replacement to a missing tooth. An implant is a screw-like surgical fixture that is placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. A crown is placed on this screw to look and function as the crown portion of the natural tooth.
How does a dental implant/tooth implant work?
Though replacement of teeth has been in dental practise for many decades, today, dental implants are considered the standard of care for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth. Once an implant screw is placed inside the jaw bone, it is allowed fuse with it and this process takes a few months. This process of blending between the dental implant and jawbone is called “osseointegration.” Implants are made up of titanium, an element that is biocompatible and routinely used in surgeries to replace bones.
The dental implant actually replaces the root of a missing tooth. On top of this screw-like structure, an implant crown or a bridge is placed. Having a dental implant fused to the jawbone is the closest thing to resemble a natural tooth because it stands on its own without affecting the nearby teeth and has great stability. As compared to a bridge to replace missing tooth/teeth, an implant doesn’t disturb adjacent teeth and has superior aesthetics too.
With advances in dentistry in the recent past, there have been many advances even in the field of implants, which have significantly improved the success rate of implants clinically.
What are the steps of dental implant/tooth implant treatment?
In order to replace a missing tooth with an implant, the treatment can be divided into the following steps:
- Diagnosis and treatment planning
- Placement of implant
- Healing phase
- Prosthetic phase
In the diagnosis and treatment planning stage, the space around the missing tooth is evaluated and the number of implant screws and crowns is determined based on the amount of space that is available. Measurements of the region and x-rays are used in the diagnosis.
The next step is the placement of the implant screw. This is a minor surgical procedure that is performed under local anaesthesia in the dental clinic. Followed by this phase is the healing phase wherein, the implant is allowed to fuse with the underlying jaw bone in order to stabilise and be able to bear the load of biting forces once the crown has been placed. This phase can take anything between 3-4 months based on the patient’s overall health, dental health, oral hygiene and medical history.
Once the osseointegration of the implant screw with the bone has been confirmed using x-rays, the next step is performed–preparing the implant to receive a crown.
Benefits of Implants Over Other Options
Many patients are sceptical about implant placement as they are relatively newer than the dentures and crowns that have been around for some time. Also, implants are slightly more expensive than dentures and bridges and so people prefer to choose them over implants.
However, implants are the first choice for replacement of missing teeth today due to the many benefits implants have such as:
- Compared to dentures, implants are fixed options which means they provide more comfort and stability
- Since dentures cover a large part of our gum tissue, taste and temperature sensation are nearly lost while one eats their food. This, however, is not seen with implants
- Compared to bridges, implant treatment takes a longer time to complete. However, in the case of bridges, adjacent teeth are prepared to support the missing tooth and can sometimes be slightly compromised in their strength and structure. Implants, on the other hand, are standalone structures and do not cause harm to nearby teeth
- They have the most superior aesthetics and look very similar to natural teeth
- When done properly, implants can last a lifetime, unlike dentures and crowns and bridges, which need to be replaced after a couple of years
How Safe are Dental Implants?
After understanding the procedure involved in the placement of implant and implant crown, one question that may have cropped up in your mind is “How safe are dental implants?”
Well, dental implants are absolutely safe and are routinely done in clinical practise to help replace a person’s missing tooth/teeth. Since the implant is made up of a biocompatible element titanium, it is safe to use inside the body. Infact, titanium screws and plates are routinely used in surgery of bones and joints.
The surgical procedure that is done to place the implant screw is similar to the procedure used to extract teeth. Both are performed under local anaesthesia in the dental clinic.
Are there Different Types of Implants?
Yes, there are different types of dental implants and the right implant for you is chosen by your dentist/implantologist based on the location of the missing tooth, the thickness and height of the jaw bone in that area, health of the patient, and the amount that the patient is willing to spend.
In most cases, your dentist will inform you which is the best implant type for you. Feel free to discuss the same with your dentist.
If you wish to replace a missing tooth or teeth and want some more information about dental implants, visit your nearest Sabka Dentist clinic. Our dental team and implantologist are well-equipped to give you a painless implant treatment and restore the smile and function of your teeth!
What is the cost of Dental Implants?
One of the biggest myths about dental implants is that they are ‘expensive’. However, the truth is dental implants are affordable options to replace missing teeth. Comparing their cost to resin-based dentures, implants may seem costly but comparing the benefits and advantages of implants with those of removable dentures, the implants are worth the cost.
Many a time, the cost of a bridge unit is the same or more expensive than the cost of 2-3 implants that can be placed in its place. The cost of implants also depends upon the type of implant, the technique involved, surgical costs, bone grafts that may be needed in some cases, and the brand of implant one chooses.
At our Sabka Dentist clinics, we offer attractive payment schemes for implant treatments that make it easier for you to pay for your implant treatment. Contact our dental team for more information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Implants resemble natural teeth.
- Implants function similar to natural teeth and there are no difficulties in eating or cleaning the teeth.
- The presence of the implant maintains the structure of the bone beneath the replaced tooth, as chewing forces are transmitted through the implant to the bone and stimulate the natural process of bone renewal. This helps preserve a good appearance, both of the restored teeth and of the face.
- Dental implants can anchor bridges and overdentures.
How long does Dental Implant treatment take?
With traditional method, shortest time frame for completing implant procedure is about five months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw. In the traditional method, two procedures are required with 3 – 6 months between them. During the first procedure, a small gingival incision is made and bone is drilled to make room for implant. After the implant placement, the incision is stitched closed. 3 – 6 months are waited to allow osseous integration between the implant pores and bone tissue. After ensuring osseointegration and healing, a second procedure is performed. It involves making a new incision to expose the implant and installing a collar called healing cap onto the top of implant. Healing cap brings about healing of the surrounding gum tissue. After few weeks, the healing cap is removed. This is followed by abutment which is screwed into the implant. This abutment is used to support the crown.
The latest method is one stage procedure where the implants, abutments and temporary crown or bridge are all placed in one visit itself.
Who needs Dental Implants Treatment?
- One or more missing teeth
- To restore aesthetics, speech and mastication
- Healthy gums/ Healthy periodontal condition
- Sufficient alveolar bone thickness to anchor the implant. (Some people who have low bone thickness due to long standing edentulism, age etc will first require special procedures for bone augmentation).
- Good Oral Hygiene Practice
Who can’t be a candidate for Dental Implants?
- Young Children whose jawbones are still in stage of growth
- Heavy Smokers
- Alcohol Abuse
- Patients who have received high dose of radiation in the region of head, neck and face
- Chronic diseases like uncontrolled diabetes, connective tissue diseases, etc
- Patients on immunosuppressant medications.
- Patients with Bruxism habit.
What is bone grafting?
- Autogeneous/ Autografts : Best results are obtained when bone from another part of one’s own body is harvested.
- Allografts : These are human bone grafts obtained from bone banks.
- Xenograft : Bone is obtained from an animal donor. (eg. Bovine bone)
- Alloplast : These are synthetic bone substitutes that are chemically similar to human bone. They may act as scaffold for new natural bone formation. They may be replaced by natural bone (resorbable alloplast) or retained (non resorbable alloplast).
What is Sinus Augmentation?
What is Loading Time?
Loading time is when the artificial crown is attached to the implants. Following are the three options:
- Immediate loading Immediate loading means that the abutment and sometimes the crown are immediately attached to the implants during surgical implant placement procedure. This approach shortens treatment time.
- Early loading Early loading means that the abutment and artificial crown are attached to the implants 1 – 12 weeks after surgery.
- Delayed loading Three to six months of integrating time is allowed before placing the crown on implant. Before connecting the artificial abutments, the implants are tested for successful osseointegration.
Implant failure may result if proper osseointegration and healing fails to occur.
Does getting a Dental Implant hurt?
Can you replace all the teeth with Implants?
Yes. One implant per tooth is not needed and one can actually have as few as four implants to replace all of the upper or lower teeth. There are a variety of options for the type of bridge, which can either be removable or fixed in place.
All-on-4® is a trademarked treatment procedure that essentially involves replacement of all missing teeth in one jaw by using only 4 implants. This procedure is especially beneficial in patients who have lost a lot of bone in the back areas of the mouth.
When to call the dentist after abutment placement?
- Bleeding that won’t cease
- Any pain in the jaws, mouth, or sinuses that does not get relieved by the prescribed medicine
- Fever above 100.4ºF (38ºC)
- An abutment that feels loose
How long is the recovery time for Dental Implants?
Are all dental implant treatments successful?
Are Dental Implants safe?
How dental implants are safe? Dental Implants are being used for a long time now and they are placed by professionally trained dentists/implantologists. They are now known to be the best replacements for missing teeth. They are strong, reliable and safe!