Dental implants are an excellent option for missing or damaged teeth due to periodontal disease, decay, or injury. Implants can restore a single tooth, a group of teeth, or a complete upper or lower arch.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are metal posts that replace the root of the missing teeth. They are a strong foundation for permanent or removable artificial teeth in a patient’s mouth. They are generally made of titanium as it offers high strength, longevity, and the ability to bond with the bone over time.
The surgery takes 1-2 hours per tooth, and, in the case of same-day dental implants, you can leave the office after just one surgical session.
What to Consider When Choosing an Implant Dentist?
Talk to your dentist in detail about the implant procedure. This will clear your anxieties if you have any. The following list may help you understand what to ask your dentist.
- What is the procedure for placing dental implants?
- How long can the implant remain effective?
- When I smile, will my dental implant be visible?
- Implants: do they require special care?
- Implants: are they safe?
- How successful are dental implants?
- Are dental implants, like dentures, detachable, or do they remain in the mouth?
- Is the implant surgery painful?
What are the Advantages of Getting a Dental Implant?
- Enhanced comfort. Implants alleviate the discomfort associated with removable dentures since they become a natural part of you.
- Easier to eat. Sliding dentures might obstruct chewing. Dental implants operate identically to natural teeth, enabling you to consume your favorite meals confidently and painlessly.
- Enhanced self-esteem. Dental implants, successfully done, can help you get back your smile and improve your self-esteem.
- Better oral health. Dental implants do not require the reduction of adjacent teeth, like a tooth-supported bridge. Because of that, more of your natural teeth remain intact, enhancing your long-term dental health. Additionally, individual implants facilitate access between teeth, which improves dental hygiene.
- Durability. Implants are sturdy and will last an extended period. Many implants can last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
- Convenience. Detachable dentures, as the name implies, are removable. Dental implants remove the embarrassment associated with denture removal and the necessity for the messy adhesive to secure dentures in place.
Who is Suitable for Dental Implants?
Generally, everyone healthy enough to undergo routine dental extractions or oral surgery is good for a dental implant. The following are important:
- The gums should be healthy
- There should be sufficient bone to support the implant
- You must maintain proper oral hygiene.
Who Isn’t a Suitable Candidate for Dental Implants?
Some medical issues may preclude you from receiving dental implants. These conditions include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Blood coagulation disorders
- Immune system dysfunction
- Substance addiction.
Your implant dentist could inform you whether you have a medical condition preventing you from receiving implants.
Young persons under 18 should avoid implants until their bone tissue has fully grown and their jaw has finished developing.
Dental Implants: How Painful Are They?
Most implant patients reported experiencing minimal discomfort throughout the surgery. According to many, implant surgeries are less painful than tooth extraction. Local anesthesia is available during the operation to numb the mouth. Some pain may return once the anesthetic wears off.
Dental Implants: Procedure
- Removal of the Tooth: If your dentist understands that the injured tooth is in your mouth, they will remove it. If you already have a missing tooth, you will move to the following phase.
- Jawbone Grafting and Preparation: Many individuals undergoing implant surgery have fragile or thin jawbones. Bone grafting, which increases the amount of bone, guarantees successful surgery. A synthetic bone transplant, such as a bone replacement, or a natural bone graft, are two options. Grafting requires a few months to heal.
- The oral surgeon reveals the bone during the operation by cutting the gums using tiny tools. A periodontist or oral surgeon drills holes into the bone. The implant is placed deeply into the bone to act as the tooth’s root.
- If the dentist is restoring a front tooth, the dentist will temporarily cover the empty area with a detachable solution as the implant heals beneath the gums. Dentists will not cover it with anything if it is a back tooth.
Reconciliation and Growth
Osseointegration occurs following the placement of the metal implant in your jawbone. This is the point at which the implant and the supporting bones connect. This procedure, which might take many months, guarantees that the foundation is strong enough to support a dental crown.
RELATED: Post-operative Instructions for Dental Implants
Following the healing period, your dentist will attach an abutment to the implant post. The abutment allows the implant to remain above the soft gums.
Once the implant has integrated into the bone sufficiently to allow chewing, your dentist may create fresh impressions of your mouth. Then, a dental technician will construct a unique dental crown for you in a laboratory.
An artificial dental crown resembles your natural teeth in appearance. The crown is placed on the abutment and becomes the implant’s only visible component.
During the follow-up appointment, your dentist checks if the implant is healing properly and if there is no infection.
What Is the Cost of a Dental Implant?
The cost of a single dental implant varies by area and surgeon. A reasonable estimate is between $3,000 and $4,500. This pricing covers the implant procedure, all associated components, and the crown.
The cost of implant placement surgery depends on the following factors:
- The quantity and kind of implants necessary.
- The implant’s placement within the jaw.
- Whether any further treatments are necessary to prepare your mouth for surgery.
During an initial inspection, a dentist or another oral health expert can estimate the cost of dental implant surgery. Talk to your dental insurance rep to see if they would share a part of the cost.
RELATED: All-on-4 Dental Implants: What They Are and When to Choose Them
What Are the Most-Often Observed Dental Implant Issues?
There are always certain dangers and possible problems with any operation. As with any oral surgical operation, bleeding problems, infections, allergies, pre-existing medical conditions, and medicines must be thoroughly reviewed before treatment begins.
Luckily, the success rate is high, and failures typically occur due to infection, implant fracture, implant overload, injury to the surrounding region, improper dental implant placement, or insufficient bone quantity or quality.
However, careful planning with a competent dental surgeon may help avoid these complications.
What Food to Avoid After Implant Surgery
- Any hard food, such as carrots, apples, or even steaks
- Any sticky food, including caramel and gums
- Spicy food (Indian, Mexican, some Chinese food)
- Sour food, such as lemons and oranges
- Very hot food (coffee, tea, hot noodles)
- Crunchy food like potato chips
What Food to Eat After Implant Surgery
- Mash potatoes
- Chicken Soup
- Ground meat
- Dairy products
- Properly boiled pasta
- Cereal, oatmeal
You should eat only liquid or semi-liquid food for two to five days and take another five to seven days before returning to a normal diet after teeth implant surgery.
Do not use a straw during this time, as it will pressure the implants.
Maintaining your implants is a continuous job. The more careful you are, the better for your implants.
What Tends to Happen If a Dental Implant Breaks?
If the implant ruptures, the only option is to remove it and replace it with a new one.
Specific individuals require bone transplants before receiving a new dental implant. Bone grafts reinforce and deepen your jawbone, guaranteeing its ability to support the implant.
How To Maintain Dental Implants?
Dental implants risk developing peri-implantitis, the dental implant counterpart of gum disease in natural teeth. This is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums and bone around the implant.
The surrounding tissues are frequently inflamed due to high biting pressures on the implant and bacterial infection. If left untreated, peri-implantitis might result in the loss of an implant.
After receiving a dental implant, routine home care and dental office follow-up are critical to preventing this disease. At-home dental implant oral hygiene is frequent brushing and flossing to remove food particles and plaque.
In the dental office, soft and hard tissues surrounding the dental implant are inspected, and specific instruments are utilized to remove more challenging calcified deposits.
The patient can also modify the bite to ensure that the implant is not under excessive biting pressures.
Are Dental Implants Genuinely Worth the Investment?
The response is an emphatic “yes!” While the procedure may appear lengthy, the product is well worth the effort and money invested.
Is There a Less Expensive Option for Dental Implants?
Dentures, whether whole or partial, are less expensive than dental implants. They are held in place by natural suction and adhesives or pastes. Partial dentures are a popular option for replacing missing molars or other teeth.
Besides, although implants, all-on-4 dental implants are relatively less expensive. In normal implants, you need an implant for every tooth. In all-on-4, you need four implants for your lower jaw and four for your upper jaw. They work as anchors for your full-mouth dentures.
When Should You Consult a Dental Professional?
If you are concerned about the look of a gap within your mouth, see your dentist to determine the best action. Because your remaining teeth may shift to close the gap, missing teeth can affect the form of your jaw or face over time. They may also affect your bite.
Consult your dentist or oral surgeon about tooth replacement alternatives if you have missing teeth.