What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a lost natural tooth. It is a relatively permanent solution to equipping a missing tooth as compared to dentures or bridges. The importance of dental implants is that it preserves oral health and function in the long run.
A dental implant is essentially an artificial metal portion that is placed inside the jaw bone. This portion inside the jaw bone functions as the tooth root. One of the important pros of dental implants is that it is natural and easy to care for
A metal connector – known as an abutment is attached to the root portion. A dental crown is then placed on top of the abutment that functions like a normal tooth. One of the benefits of dental implants is that it stays on for a long time when properly maintained.
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The procedure of getting a dental implant involves the following:
- Your dentist will perform x rays of the area
- The condition of your gum, bone, and mouth will be assessed
- A CT scan will be done to determine the strength and integrity of the jaw bone
- If your dentist determines your bone structure is not strong enough to support the implant, you may need a bone graft
- After completing the tooth extraction, you may need to wait for a few weeks before the dental implant can be placed
- Your dental implant procedure will progress according to the waiting period that you will need to heal between the different stages.
- Based on the stage, you will be set up with a temporary dental crown that will help cover the area during the healing period.
- The crown will be the only visible part that will reflect a dental implant
- Once the implant is placed, it is similar in structure and function to a natural tooth. This is the most important advantage of dental implants
Who are candidates for Dental Implants?
- You need to be in good oral and general health
- If you have one or more teeth missing and looking for a permanent dental replacement
- A strong jaw bone that is agile to support an implant is an important prerequisite
- Your gums need to be healthy enough to work with a dental implant
- There should be no signs of periodontal disease
- Smoking will hamper the healing and function of a dental implant. So if you smoke, you may need to quit smoking before you decide to get an implant
- The process may take about six to twelve months to complete- patience and perseverance is important to stay with the process and get it done successfully
- If you are diabetic, you will need to control your blood sugar levels first by working with your diabetologist before going in for a dental implant
- In case you are pregnant, you need to wait until the baby is born to get the procedure
- You will not be able to get a dental implant if you are currently on radiation therapy or have had radiation in the past
- If the jaw bone density is not resilient enough, you may need a bone graft before the dental implant can be started.
- The jaw bone growth has been completed before a dental implant can be placed
- Since the procedure is invasive and the benefits of dental implants are very long-lasting and permanent, an extensive dental assessment will be made by your dental specialist team before determining your candidacy for the dental implant procedure.
Benefits and advantages of dental implants
- Looks natural- One of the benefits of dental implants is that it looks very much like a natural tooth
- The capacity to eat, bite and chew improves greatly- The function of a tooth is unique and important to maintain good oral function. A dental implant retains and improves the ability to chew and process food. This is the importance of dental implants
- Prevents bone loss- A dental implant done on time prevents progressive bone loss that can further deteriorate the existing tooth condition- one of the advantages of dental implants
- By preventing extensive bone loss, the facial bone solidarity is maintained and the appearance of the facial structure is retained which is one of the pros of dental implants
- Boost your confidence levels- When you eat, speak, and smile with confidence it boosts your energy and confidence levels.
- They are easy to maintain – Dental implants require maintenance just like a normal tooth and they are easy to take care of
- Provide more comfort- Dental implants offer a pain-free experience when compared to dentures or bridges. They provide maximum comfort in terms of feel and activity
- The quality of speech is retained- Dentures may slip during speech and the muscles of the face contract to keep the denture in place. This makes the speech slurry. A dental implant stays rooted and the speech is as good as it used to be.
Also Read: |Dental Filling: Purpose, Procedure, Types & Cost |
If I have a missing tooth, is it compulsory to replace it?
Getting a permanent dental implant is a good choice to replace missing teeth. The advantages of dental implants include retaining oral health and function, prevent bone loss, improve eating efficiency and boost your confidence.
Is getting a dental implant painful?
A dental implant is an invasive procedure that involves replacing the lost tooth root, connecting it through a metal portion, and placing a crown on top of it. You will experience pain but your dental specialist will prescribe pain killers, antibiotics and perform the procedure under anesthesia. This will make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
Are dental implants safe?
Yes, dental implants are safe. The materials used in dental implant prostheses are of medical grade and undergo rigorous checks before they come to use. The procedure is performed by dental specialists who have niche training in the field and remain one of the best permanent ways to replace the missed tooth
How do dental implants work?
Medical grade titanium is used to create a tooth root. Once it’s put in place, the natural bone grows around it and keeps it anchored to the jaw. A dental crown is placed on top of it to give the natural tooth appearance.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants last for a relatively long time- an average of about eight to ten years. They need to be maintained like a normal tooth with regular dental checkups and proper follow up as advised
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