Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist – a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
Top 10 FAQs about Dental Implants
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth, bridge, or denture. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to decay, periodontal disease, an injury, failed root canal, or root resorption.
Does a missing tooth need to be replaced?
According to the American Dental Association, there are many reasons to maintain the space of a missing tooth. A significant space between teeth may affect how a person speaks or chews. Adjacent teeth become free range and can move or shift and in most cases, bone loss can occur around a missing tooth.
How does it work?
Dental implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material that serves as a reliable foundation (tooth root) for replacement teeth. Natural bone locks the implant down by growing around the implant and fusing it into place.
How long have dental implants been around?
Fossil evidence suggests attempts to recreate teeth using substances such as stone, ivory and wood. Proven safe and effective at replacing missing teeth, modern dental implants have been in use for more than 40 years.
Is it safe?
Dental implant surgery is one of the safest procedures in dentistry and it is the only restoration method that stimulates natural bone beneath the missing tooth.
How many visits are involved?
The procedure for dental implants in most cases, typically takes 30-40 minutes per tooth involving extraction of tooth and immediate placement of implant.
Is placement painful?
After application of local anesthetic, there will be no pain felt during the procedure or only minor discomfort. The process of placement of the implant may create sensation of pressure being applied but not pain. The action of the local anesthetic usually wears of in 2-3 hours following which over the counter pain killers suffice in reducing discomfort considerably.
How long do implants take to heal?
Dental implants can take two to four months to integrate into place. The bone around a new implant needs time to heal so it can secure the implant into place.
Are they expensive?
The cost of most dental implants is identical to that of the average three-tooth bridge. The long-term cost for an implant (versus a bridge) is much lower, since a bridge will most likely need to be replaced at some point.
Who is qualified to place implants?
General dentists diagnose and maintain the overall oral health of patients. They may have knowledge in specialty areas like implants along with specialist dental surgeons such as Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons and Prosthodontists. Dental implants are a reliable solution to missing teeth. Studies show success rates routinely above 98 percent.
Here are some patients who were successfully treated for dental implants:
Female patient suffered a fall and luxated front teeth and one tooth was lost, case treated with root canal treatment and splinting. Later an implant was placed and completed with EMax crowns.
The patient wasn’t very pleased with her existing bridge as her teeth had started moving and her front teeth weren’t visible when she smiled. It also made her facial appearance older. She was concerned about the kind of treatment she would undergo as bridges couldn’t be remade due to mobility in her teeth. She underwent treatment for 6 dental implants after removing the existing bridge and mobile teeth. She was then provided an implant supported bridge which arrested the bone loss and brought back her pleasing smile!