Why Dental Implants?
Losing a tooth can be devastating, not only because it affects the way you look, but also because it can lead to other physical problems that may affect your health and prevent you from smiling with confidence. It is vitally important to replace missing teeth with dental implants promptly in order to prevent health consequences such as:
- Bone loss
- Shifting and drifting of the teeth
- Alteration in the bite as a result of shifting teeth
- Jaw joint problems
- Difficulty in chewing properly
- Additional stress on the remaining teeth
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are biocompatible titanium replacements of the tooth's roots. Dental implants replace missing teeth by mimicking nature as closely as possible.
Dental implant restorations have three parts:
- Titanium implant, bone-integrated implant ( meaning it become part of your bone )
- Implant abutment ( tooth replacement )
- Implant crown ( fits onto the abutment )
Do Implants hurt?
Placing the implants requires a small operation. This can be carried out under local anaesthetic, with sedation, or with a general anaesthetic. You will not feel any pain at the time, but you may feel some discomfort during the week following the surgery. This is usually due to having stitches in place, and the normal healing process.
How long does Treatment take?
It can take up to 12 months from the initial assessment to the time when the artificial teeth or dentures are finally attached to the implants. However, if only the lower jaw is involved then it may only take around 5 months.
A lot depends on how complicated your treatment is. Your dentist will be able to give you a timetable once the surgery has been done.
What Is the Dental Implant Placement Process?
- Planning stage: Planning is the most important part of the process. A carefully and intelligently thought-out treatment plan is the difference between success and failure. Sometimes we may require specialized imaging to visualize the bone condition and three-dimensional viewing to ensure proper placement.
- Implant placement: our dentist will place the dental implant in the ideal spot to form the gum tissue around the implant.
- Healing: the bone around the dental implant will grow and integrate with the new implant in a matter of a few weeks.
- Temporary restoration: if the dental implant is in a readily visible area, a temporary restoration may be placed for esthetic purposes while the site heals.
- Abutment placement: when healing is complete, the dental implant abutment is placed to connect the dental implant to the porcelain crown.
- Implant crown: a new porcelain crown is made to exact specifications, we bond the crown to the abutment.
The best time to place a dental implant is at time of tooth extraction, or shortly thereafter. However, we have placed dental implants successfully years after tooth loss. What’s important is the presence of an adequate amount of healthy bone to surround the newly placed dental implant.
There are many benefits to replacing missing teeth with dental implants, chiefly that they:
- Maintain the integrity of bone structure after tooth loss
- Preserve the health of adjacent teeth, since there is no need for bridgework
- Replace loose-fitting dentures
- Distribute bite forces evenly throughout the mouth
- Function and feel like natural teeth
- Improve speaking ability when bulky dentures are eliminated
- Improve facial appearance by preventing bone loss