Many people experience tooth loss because of tooth decay, injuries, or periodontal disease. One of the most common treatments for tooth loss is a dental implant. This web page will discuss what dental implants are, who they are suited for, and the procedure involved in getting them.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are mechanical devices that replace missing teeth. A dental implant is made of an implant fixture, abutment, and prosthetics. The implant fixture lies below the gum line and fuses with the jaw bone. It is considered the artificial tooth root. On the other hand, an abutment lies above the gum line and supports the dental work placed on it. An abutment is screwed on after the fixture and jaw bone have fused. Finally, there is the dental prosthesis, the dental work that is placed on an abutment. It may be screwed, cemented, or clipped depending on whether it is a crown, bridge, or denture.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
Before your dentist recommends a dental implant procedure, they will consider your age, habits/lifestyle, and jaw quantity and quality. Generally, dental implants are suitable for people with:
- Missing teeth
- Mature and adequate jaw bone to hold the implants
- Speech impairment
- Healthy oral tissue
- No health conditions that will impede the healing process
The Procedure For Getting Dental Implants
The first phase of a dental implant procedure is determining the best implant option for you. Next, the implant is placed in your jaw bone. The jaw bone will begin to grow around the implant to secure it firmly in place. This healing process may take anywhere between 6-12 weeks.
After the implant and bone have bonded, an abutment will be connected to the implant. The dentist will then take impressions of your teeth to be used for designing the replacement tooth. Then, the replacement tooth, known as a crown, is placed on the abutment. In some cases, the dentist may place attachments on the implant to act as the support of a removable denture.
Single Implants for a Missing Tooth
Unlike the jaw bones, teeth are movable and can easily shift from their original position. Each tooth in the mouth has a designated position and serves a specific purpose. When there is a missing tooth, the body’s natural reaction is to shift the adjacent teeth on either side to fill up the void created. This implies that a single missing tooth can cause the change in position of every tooth and even alter the entire dental structure. Over time, malocclusion may then develop causing constant headaches, muscle spasm, periodontal disease and other disorders. Because these problems do not manifest immediately after the loss of a single tooth, people do not associate the problems with the missing tooth. However, it’s encouraging to note that many people are now becoming more educated on the possible dangers of a missing tooth and are seeking single implants.
Single implants are small inserts, surgically inserted in the jaws beneath the gums. Also known as teeth implants, single implants are a form of replacement therapy and are often used on fallen teeth, chipped teeth or decayed teeth to the point of replacement.
For compatibility purposes, dental implants are fabricated from biocompatible materials like titanium, which have tiny ridges and pits on their surface. The tiny ridges and pits allow the bone to closely grow around the implant, effectively adhering to it and thereby providing powerful support for the artificial tooth. Unlike the bridges and dentures, the single implants do not affect adjacent teeth. Since the artificial tooth is affixed to the jaw bone, it will not move or shift around, enabling patients to eat and smile comfortably. Single implant offers an exceptional replacement solution that can help in preventing future oral complications.
What to Expect After Dental Implants
The success rate of dental implants ranks as high as 98%. Although, it tends to depend on where the implants are installed into the jawbone.
Your stitches will probably dissolve by themselves. Otherwise, your doctor must take them out to avoid irritation and infection. Because you undergo local anesthesia, there should be little discomfort associated with the actual procedure.
Whether your implants involve one or more surgeries, you typically face the same challenges afterwards. Here are some things to expect. Your gums and face may swell, especially in the first 24 hours of recovery. Also, your skin and gums could be discolored from bruising during the healing process. At the implant site itself, expect some pain and even minor bleeding.
If the swelling, pain or discomfort does not improve in the days following your surgery, get in touch with the surgeon’s office for advice. Carefully consider any medications that could be addictive. Antibiotics could be prescribed if the site becomes infected.
Over-the-counter remedies may suffice to relieve discomfort.
What to Eat
Stick to soft foods while the implant site heals after each surgery, and avoid chewing on the side where the implants were installed.
Caring for Dental Implants
Your implants are replacement teeth and, as such, they are meant to last your whole life. So, proper care is crucial.
The good news is that your dental implants require the same way as your other teeth. Brush and floss regularly and well, followed by an antibacterial mouthwash rinse. Your regular dental cleanings and checkups become even more important after implant surgery.