Dental implant is a structure that consists of two components: one of them (implant) is to put into the jaw and replace root and the second one, which is visible (crown), is to put above. This is an artificial tooth that is very similar to the natural one.
Patients lose their teeth due to different reasons: tooth decay, injury, inflammation, periodontal disease, and trauma. These people can restore the dentition with bridges, dentures and dental implants.
There are a lot of advantages to the dental implants.
- Dental implants improve the appearance. They are similar to the natural teeth.
- Dental implants are fixed and not removable.
- Dental implants are independent. They reduce the load on the other oral structures compared with bridges, crowns and dentures.
- In comparison to the dentures, implants don’t worsen the speech.
- Patients can easily eat everything they would like with implants.
- Implants are very durable and will last many years. Moreover, with good care, no restorations may be need.
Almost all people can get dental implants. If a patient has any oral disease, like infected gums or decayed teeth, a dentist will treat it and then only begin the procedure. People, suffering from systemic diseases, and those who have radiation therapy, must be evaluated before the procedure.
Not all patients can afford themselves implants, because this is the most expensive replacement method and insurance will cover only part of the cost.
There are two types of implants considered as safe:
- Endosteal implants — these are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone.
- Subperiosteal implants — these consist of a metal frame that is fitted into the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As the gums heal, the frame becomes fixed to the jawbone.
The dental implant procedure is made by professionals who are experienced in oral surgery and reconstructive dentistry. If only one or two implants are placed (simple surgery), local anesthesia is enough. For more complex cases (more than two implants), sedation and general anesthesia can be used. The procedure is not painful; patients may feel a little discomfort during the first days.
The implant looks naturally, because the doctor makes impressions of teeth, matches the color and sends the sketch to the laboratory, where the visible part of implant (crown) is prepared.
The dental implant surgery is a multistep procedure. Here we described just a few steps of it. During the surgery, the root implant (the invisible part of the tooth), which is made of titanium, is placed into the socket. This is a place, where a natural tooth was before. The healing takes from six to twelve weeks. During this period the jawbone grows around the implanted metal. Once the gums heal, a small connector (abutment) is attached to the metal implant. Finally, the new tooth (crown) is based on the metallic model.
A person must be patient, because the treatment lasts at least six months.
Everyday hygiene must be kept. A patient should brush, floss and rinse the implants and natural teeth with antibacterial mouthwash. Regularly visits to the dentist are recommended.