Dental Implants: Everything You Need To Know

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April 13, 2023

Dental Implants

Many people enjoy engaging in a plethora of sports activities. Some of these activities may lead to accidents that result in one or a couple of teeth coming loose. In the worst cases, it even comes off. Also, some infections or tooth decay scenarios lead to a tooth coming out or having it removed. This can look very odd, especially if the tooth or teeth in question are the front ones, which are quite visible when smiling. This is where dental implants come to the rescue. 

Dental implants are teeth fixed in place of the missing ones, giving the person more confidence in their smile once again. But what are dental implants? Who can get them? And most importantly, do they hurt? To know everything about dental implants, keep on reading.

What are dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial teeth attached to natural teeth set in place of a missing or damaged tooth. These implants are very realistic and do not look odd or different from your natural teeth. The dental implants that you fit on the lower jaw are attached with the help of a screw and secured tightly in place. Therefore this procedure requires a solid and healthy jawbone. In the case of the upper tooth, the bone attached to the sinus is used as a base.

Whenever the jawbone is not strong enough to give support to the dental implant, the doctor usually suggests a bone graft. A bone graft is transplanted from one area of the body. This donor’s bone is fitted in the jawline or below the sinus in case of upper teeth dental implants. The jaw is given a rest time of two to the mouth to ensure complete healing of the mouth. After the bone graft has fully acclimated to the structure of the existing jawbone, the dentist performs the tooth implantation procedure. 

Who is a good candidate for getting Dental Implants?

You must know before going for an implant if it is the correct procedure for you. That is especially the case, given that a dental implant is a permanent procedure. Once you follow all the precautions advised by your doctor, it can survive for decades. A good dentist would be the best one to know if it is suitable for you. However, here are some essential criteria for knowing if you can consider getting dental implants.

  • If you are too young and your jaw is still developing, a dental implant is not the procedure for you. Many teenagers go for this procedure. That is because they usually have a fully grown jaw structure.
  • If you have a weak jawbone, going for a dental implant will be a risky affair. The doctor usually examines your overall bone density and whether a bone grafting procedure will suit you. In fact, people with severe bone deficiency, disease etc., are not advised to go for this treatment. Similarly, people above 75 or 80 must not undergo this procedure. Their bone density and health issues will not support such an undertaking.
  • If you have some other dental issues, you will have to treat that first. A good dentist ensures that their patient’s oral health is in prime condition before going for dental implant surgery. There must be no infection, gum issues, etc., to ensure that the procedure is successful.

Steps involved in the procedure of a dental implant?

A dental implant requires the patient to have absolutely no other infections or gum disease. Therefore, dentists usually examine the patient’s oral health prior to surgery. If any issues need attention, the doctor treats the underlying issue first. After this, the doctor will place a titanium or a titanium alloy implant and fix a screw into the jawbone. This bone needs to be strong. 

A bone grafting procedure is done before the implant if the bone is not strong enough. This will take additional months to ensure the bone graft has adequately settled. 

If the implant has to be done on the upper set, the bone near the sinuses will be the base of the screw. When that bone is weak, the doctor opts for a sinus lift. This may sound very painful, but the procedure is very painless. An adequate anaesthesia is injected into the patient. The dentist then fixes the tooth implant that matches perfectly the rest of the teeth. 

Precautions before and after the procedure

The first precaution before the surgery takes place is that there should not be any ongoing infection, pus, bleeding gums or other serious dental issues. These are not ideal scenarios for a dental implant as this can cause further infection. A dentist can assess if the patient is ready to have the procedure done.

The after precaution is to have medicines on time. Also, brush and floss your teeth every day. Avoid smoking for the longevity of the implants. Also, avoid consuming highly acidic and sugary food substances.

Different types of Dental Implants?

Dental implants can be performed on one tooth or multiple teeth. Depending on the way the procedure is done, there are a few other types of dental implants other than the standard one.

Zygomatic implants

These implants are for those with weak jaw or sinus bone to fix the implant. This type of dental implant takes the support of the cheekbone, known as a zygoma. This method is suitable for one or two teeth or the entire set of teeth.

Mini/short implants

These implants are smaller versions of the regular procedure. People usually go for this method where the bone density is lower than normal. Dentists prefer this method only if absolutely necessary, as this does not have a high success rate.

Alternatives to Dental Implants

Dental implant surgery has a very high success rate. So usually, this is one of the best options to choose from. However, for some patients, dental implants are not advisable. This is because implants require very strong base bone, and the healing capacity of the bone must also be optimum. 

When this is the case, the patient has a few other options, first is dental bridges, and the second is dentures fixed by attaching to the remaining teeth.

To receive the best dental service, contact us now. 

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