Planning to get dental implants?
Here’s what you should know!
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial substitute for the tooth root, on which a crown (prosthesis) can be applied. It is a biocompatible material made of ceramic, titanium, and alloy, among other materials, and is available in different shapes, sizes, and surface textures. Sometimes the surface of an implant is treated with substances like hydroxyapatite to enhance positive interaction between the implant surface and the bone.
The biggest advantage of dental implants is the long-term replacement of missing teeth without the need to cut surrounding teeth (providing for fixed bridges or FPD). Dental implants can restore oral wellness, improve the form and function of the teeth, and enhance your smile.
Nevertheless, implants have a somewhat greater danger of failing compared to traditional treatments (FPD), although the success of implants has been reported to be more than 90% in clinical literature. Typical post-operative difficulties may also occur, such as infection, loss of stability, and injury to the nerve. Cost may also be a factor, as implants are usually expensive and not covered by insurance.
Implants can usually be added at any time. However, the best time for positioning an oral implant is within the first six months after the original teeth have been removed.
Once the treatment is scheduled, proper preparation of the site for the implant must be done to achieve optimal tooth removal and bone preservation.
Certain patient groups, such as smokers, tobacco chewers, seniors, and those with inadequate oral hygiene or systemic problems like diabetes, are at a greater risk for implant failure. A thorough medical history, dental examination, and radiographs to assess bone quality and structural framework position are necessary before dental implant positioning.
One dental implant for one tooth!
Not true! If multiple teeth need to be replaced in a row, a dentist can prepare a prosthesis over fewer implants to minimize the total treatment cost. Recently, a number of articles have shown the great success of full mouth dentures over just four implants in each jaw (all on four principles).
Implant surgical procedure harms!
Implant surgery is a straightforward multi-step procedure (sometimes in one solitary phase), similar to a regular dental procedure. The dentist can accomplish pain control with a local anesthetic, and the implant process is very similar to tooth removal in terms of pain, time, and problems. Regular antibiotics and pain medication (analgesics) are encouraged after the surgical treatment for one week or less.
After the procedure, implants do not need any kind of additional treatment
INCORRECT! This is an often repeated myth associated with dental implants. Good oral hygiene, appropriate control of systemic problems such as diabetes mellitus, and the cessation of incapacitating practices are essential for long-term dental implant success. The individual should undergo regular dental exams and specialist follow-ups for at least a year to stay clear of bone loss and implant failure.
Information retrieved from: Dr. Ravi Sharma. October 29, 2013.