What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post or in simple terms an artificial tooth root which is surgically positioned in the jawbone beneath the gum, allowing the dentist to mount a replacement teeth or bridge in that area. The good thing about an implant is that it does not come loose like a denture and lasts for years if maintained the right way.
Dental implants are also beneficial for general oral health as they are not anchored to other teeth and can sustain on their own without being dependent on other teeth in the mouth. As they get fused to the jawbone, implants offer stable support for artificial teeth, giving you a chance to maintain a beautiful and natural smile even if you have lost a tooth due to decay or some injury.
The procedure to getting dental implants is not very hard and you can visit your dentist to know more about it. However, you must be having healthy gums and proper bones to support the implant and work hard to keep these structures healthy to enjoy good results in the long run. All it needs is meticulous oral hygiene and regular visits to dental care facility to enjoy their benefits.
According to the American Dental Association, these two types of implants are safest:
Endosteal implants — these implants are placed in the jawbone surgically and after the surrounding tissue has healed, another surgery is required to connect a post to the original implant. In the end, an artificial tooth is attached to the post individually.
Subperiosteal implants — these implants consist of a metal frame that is fitted into the jawbone just below the gum tissue. When the gum heals, the frame gets fixed to the jaw and the posts that are attached to the frame, come out through the gums. Finally, artificial teeth are placed on the posts.
How a dental implant works and is it the right choice?
A dental implant is the replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Just like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and hidden from the eye once they are placed via surgery. Made of titanium, implants can be used to secure crowns, bridgework or dentures as they are very lightweight yet very strong and biocompatible and easily adjusted in the body.
Dental implants are highly suitable and safe for usage among humans as its special property of fusing to the bone makes titanium the right choice when it comes to dental treatments. It is important to know that when you lose a tooth, the bone which supports that tooth is also lost and it is only with dental implant that a bone can be stabilized and the loss can be prevented. Implant not only replaces the lost teeth but also maintain the jawbone’s shape and density, supporting the facial skeleton and the soft tissue structure at the same time.
Dental implants help you eat, chew, smile, talk and look completely normal and natural and help immensely in mental as well as physical stability and restore confidence which make it highly suitable when it comes to tooth replacement.
How do I know if I need dental implant?
You need a dental implant if you have lost a tooth due to any reason. It is important that you maintain good health as there are some conditions and ailments that can rule out possibility of dental implants such as very high blood sugar levels, cancer, and radiation to the jaws, smoking, alcoholism and even uncontrolled gum disease which prevent the fusion of dental implants to bone.
It is best to see a dentist and seek professional and expert advice as your dentist will refer you to a dental surgeon who will check out your medical history and condition along with any medicines, prescribed, over-the-counter as well as herbal ones that you are taking and decide if you need dental implants and how it should be done.
How will the dentist put implants in place?
The dentist will require detailed assessment of your overall stomato-gnathic system, which means mouth-jaw system within which your implant will function to know how it will work. As a dental implant is a replacement for the root or roots of the tooth, it will be secured in the jawbone which is a complex procedure. To do things the right way, the dentist will need to compile records and study your mouth and bite size to ensure you get the best possible assistance in this regard.
You will be asked to undergo some tests like x-rays and CT scan so that the dental implants can be placed in the right position on the bone.
What is the best way to maintain dental implants the right way?
Dental implants require proper maintenance so that they can last a long way and offer trouble free usage. The best thing to do in this regard is to practice good daily hygiene and regularly brush and floss the teeth to control bacterial biofilm. Regular dental visits are also highly recommended so that the implants are properly cleaned with special instruments which keep them in good shape without damaging their metal surface.
Dental implants can be removed or replaced but it should only be done by a professional dentist who knows the job well so that the implants or attachment to the bone are not affected. The dentist will monitor the condition of the implants to ensure the integrity of the osseointegration is stable and that the implant crowns, bridgework or dentures are functioning the right way and maintain them well for long term usage.
How implant tooth replacement is different from natural teeth?
Natural teeth and dental implants might look and feel the same and even function in the same manner but in fact they are very different. The biggest different lies in the way they are attached to the surrounding bone, their response to dental diseases and their maintenance and repair.
Natural teeth are attached to the surrounding bone by a periodontal ligament which is made up of collagen fibers that join into the tooth on one side and bone on the other. On the other hand, the dental implants are fused directly to the bone. The gum tissues are also attached to the roof of a tooth with collagen fibers but these gum tissues can only stick to the surface of dental implants.
Natural teeth can suffer from decay and require treatments but dental implants are made up of metal which does not decay or require any root canal or other treatment. Some other problems that natural teeth might face are periodontal or gum diseases while dental implants can result in per-implantitis, an inflammatory condition which is a result of bacterial biofilm of the tissue surrounding the implant which can disintegrate the bone of the implant.
Dental implants are the safest and most reliable means of getting artificial teeth in place of natural teeth that are lost, protecting bones and helping to maintain the facial skeleton. It is best to seek a professional and experienced dentist if you are considering dental implants to get the best advice and treatment.