Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

Dental Implant is a modality of treatment wherein Roots of missing teeth are replaced by Implants fixed in the bone. These Implants can either support Crowns, Bridges or Removable Dentures in the mouth. Oral Implantology has become one of the fastest growing disciplines of dentistry. Most modern implants are made of titanium. Titanium and titanium alloy are well accepted by the jaw bone. The external surface of the implant may be treated by different methods to increase the surface area available for bone cells to grow into.

What are the components of Dental Implants?

A dental implant is composed of three components: a small titanium screw that is inserted into and fuses with the jawbone, an “abutment” or post which attaches to the implant, and a crown (in the case of one implant) that fits over the abutment to provide a natural looking tooth that functions well.

Why to place an implant?

Missing teeth can be replaced by dentures or bridges. Conventionally fixed replacement of missing teeth was done by Bridges after abrading natural adjacent teeth for support. However, if teeth on either side of the missing tooth space were not present it would not be possible to make a tooth supported bridge & an Implant supported bridge would be the other alternative. Implants need neither gum nor teeth to support them. Implants are placed directly in bone and do not damage surrounding teeth. They function like individual natural teeth. Loose removable dentures can be made firm in the mouth by clipping them over 2 or 4 Implants.

 

What are the benefits/Advantages of dental implants?

  • Implants avoid damage to surrounding healthy teeth
  • Implants are fixed in place and look and perform almost like natural teeth
  • Implants fit precisely without slipping or the need for adhesives
  • Implants preserve facial features, and restore a natural smile
  • Implants prevent loss of bone in the area of the missing teeth
  • Improved health- Implants greatly enhances chewing efficiency and hence allows the patient to eat all types of nutritious food easily.
  • Implant treatment can last a lifetime. Over 95% Success rate.
  • Improved self esteem- Removable Dentures can loosen and dislodge while speaking. With implants, however the person can confidently talk, eat, chew and speak naturally.
  • Improved comfort- Conventional Removable Dentures is seated on the gum and hence is mobile. Such Dentures can be clipped on Implants which remain firm as they take their support from the bone and the thus the Denture would be stable & more comfortable.
  • Improved appearance When teeth are lost the facial appearance begins to change. The muscle tone is lost and the person looks older. Dental implants greatly reduce the bone loss and this in turn has a beneficial effect on the facial musculature.

How does an implant prevent bone loss?

  • Biting forces are transmitted to the jaw bone by the roots of teeth. This stimulates the bone and keeps it healthy. As teeth are lost, the bone in that area does not receive adequate stimulation and becomes weaker and gets gradually reduced. Placement of implants allows adequate stimulation of the surrounding bone and hence leads to a healthier bone environment.

At what age can an implant be placed?

Boys younger than 18 years and girls younger than 16 are usually not treated with implants, though there may be exceptions depending on the individual considerations. Healthy individuals, however old they may be can avail of implant treatment, after consulting with their respective physicians.

Can anyone have dental implants?

Almost everyone that has lost a tooth, several teeth or even all of their teeth is a candidate for dental implants. There are very few situations in which implants are not suitable.

Am I too old to have implants?

Age is not a factor for dental implant success. Bone healing around dental implants occurs in patients from the 6th to the 10th decade of life with almost equal success as in younger patients. The only thing to stand in the way of dental implant treatment in the elderly is general medical health, your dentist can discuss this with you at your consultation.

How long do implant procedures take?

The time to place implants can range from a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on the type of implant procedure necessary. The teeth can be fixed over the implants either immediately or after a few months as the case demands and allows

How painful is the dental implant procedure?

This procedure, as any other oral surgical procedure, has some associated discomfort. However most implant patients comment that they were surprised at how minimal and short the duration of discomfort was.

 

How many Dental Implants are needed to replace missing teeth?

Dental implants may be used to replace individual teeth, multiple teeth, or all your teeth in one or both arches. In the case of a full arch, 14 teeth may be supported by as few as four implants.

Dental implants are available in different sizes and shapes like screws, blades and cylinders. The implant dentist selects the most appropriate implant after studying the case.

Are implants costly?

Implants are cost-effective. Most implants are imported and their advantages far outweigh the initial investment in the long term, as compared to loose removable dentures. Long term health with natural esthetics and function are provided with implants.

Are implants successful?

Treatment with dental implants is highly successful and very predictable. However, as with all dental procedures, adequate hygiene and maintenance has to be observed to ensure long term success. With more than three decades of clinical experience and over a million patients treated worldwide, statistics confirm the success rate of 95% for single teeth and close to 100% for implant bridges.

How do I care for my dental implants and new teeth?

Implant supported teeth need to be brushed and cared for just like natural teeth, although flossing will be difficult. As with natural teeth, you will need to visit your dentist and hygienist periodically for review and maintenance.

 

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