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Dental Implant

Technically, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root that’s placed into your jaw to hold a prosthetic tooth or bridge. However, when most people use the term “dental implants,” they’re talking about the combination of the implant (the artificial tooth root) and the prosthetic tooth. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason and who prefer not to wear dentures.

Why it’s done

Dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone, where they serve as the roots of missing teeth. Because the titanium in the implants fuses with your jawbone, the implants won’t slip, make noise or cause bone damage the way fixed bridgework or dentures might. And the materials can’t decay like your own teeth that support regular bridgework can.

In general, dental implants may be right for you if you:

  • Have one or more missing teeth
  • Have a jawbone that’s reached full growth
  • Have adequate bone to secure the implants or are able to have a bone graft
  • Have healthy oral tissues
  • Don’t have health conditions that will affect bone healing
  • Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
  • Want to improve your speech
  • Are willing to commit several months to the process
  • Don’t smoke tobacco

Types of Dental Implants

  • Endosteal (in the bone): This is the most common type of implant. Its various forms include screws, cylinders or blades surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of implant is generally an alternative for patients who are now wearing bridges or removable dentures.
  • Subperiosteal (on the bone): This type of implant is placed on top of the jaw with metal framework’s posts that protrude through the gum to hold the implant in place. Subperiosteal implants are generally used for patients who are unable to wear conventional dentures and don’t have adequate bone height to hold an endosteal implant.

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

You’re an ideal candidate for a dental implant if:

  • You’re in good general and oral health.
  • You have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant.
  • You have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

Dental implants are intimately connected with the soft tissues (i.e., gums) and underlying hard tissues (i.e., bone) in the mouth. Since periodontists have had three years of specialized training beyond dental school to make them experts on both soft and hard tissues, they have the ideal combination of experience and knowledge to make sure you get a dental implant solution that looks and feels like your own teeth.

Types of Dental Implant Procedures

Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your periodontist will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.

Here are some of the possible treatment plans depending on your situation:

  • Single Tooth Dental Implants – If you’re missing a single tooth, one dental implant can replace it.
  • Multiple Tooth Dental Implants – If you’re missing several teeth, they can be replaced by multiple dental implants.
  • Full Mouth Dental Implants – If you’re missing all of your teeth, they can be replaced by full mouth dental implants.
  • Sinus Augmentation – A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper back jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the sinus. Sinus augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
  • Ridge Modification – Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with and inadequate amount of bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the void where bone is missing. The void is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve the jaw’s appearance and increase the chances of successful implants.

Dental Implant Procedure Follow-Up

Just like natural teeth, dental implants require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits to preserve function and prevent peri-implant disease. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing are still necessary.

After you’ve received your implant, your periodontist will work closely with you and your general dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.

Risks

Like any surgery, dental implant surgery poses some health risks. Problems are rare, though, and when they do occur they’re usually minor and easily treated. Risks include:

  • Infection at the implant site
  • Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin
  • Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities

How you prepare

The planning process for dental implants may involve a variety of specialists at white Align Dental Care.

Because dental implants require one or more surgical procedures, you must have a thorough evaluation to prepare for the process, including a:

  • Comprehensive dental exam. You may have dental X-rays and 3D images taken, and have models made of your teeth and jaw.
  • Review of your medical history. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions and any medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have certain heart conditions or orthopedic implants, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.
  • Treatment plan. Tailored to your situation, this plan takes into account factors such as how many teeth you need replaced and the condition of your jawbone and remaining teeth.

To control pain, anesthesia options during surgery include local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia. Talk to your dental specialist  at White Align Dental Care about which option is best for you. Your dental care team will instruct you about eating and drinking before surgery, depending on what type of anesthesia you have. If you’re having sedation or general anesthesia, plan to have someone take you home after surgery and expect to rest for the remainder of the day.

What you can expect

Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages, with healing time between procedures. The process of placing a dental implant involves multiple steps, including:

  • Damaged tooth removal
  • Jawbone preparation (grafting), when needed
  • Dental implant placement
  • Bone growth and healing
  • Abutment placement
  • Artificial tooth placement

The entire process can take many months from start to finish. Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw. Depending on your situation, the specific procedure done or the materials used, certain steps can sometimes be combined.

When bone grafting is required

If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting before you can have dental implant surgery. That’s because the powerful chewing action of your mouth exerts great pressure on your bone, and if it can’t support the implant, the surgery likely would fail. A bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant.

There are several bone graft materials that can be used to rebuild a jawbone. Options may include a natural bone graft, such as from another location in your body, or a synthetic bone graft, such as bone-substitute material that can provide support structures for new bone growth. Talk to your doctor about options that will work best for you.

It may take several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant. In some cases, you may need only minor bone grafting, which can be done at the same time as the implant surgery. The condition of your jawbone determines how you proceed.

Placing the dental implant

During surgery to place the dental implant, your oral surgeon makes a cut to open your gum and expose the bone. Holes are drilled into the bone where the dental implant metal post will be placed. Since the post will serve as the tooth root, it’s implanted deep into the bone.

At this point, you’ll still have a gap where your tooth is missing. A type of partial, temporary denture can be placed for appearance, if needed. You can remove this denture for cleaning and while you sleep.

Waiting for bone growth

Once the metal implant post is placed in your jawbone, osseointegration begins. During this process, the jawbone grows into and unites with the surface of the dental implant. This process, which can take several months, helps provide a solid base for your new artificial tooth — just as roots do for your natural teeth.

Placing the abutment

When osseointegration is complete, you may need additional surgery to place the abutment — the piece where the crown will eventually attach. This minor surgery is typically done with local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.

To place the abutment:

  • Your oral surgeon reopens your gum to expose the dental implant
  • The abutment is attached to the dental implant
  • The gum tissue is then closed around, but not over, the abutment

In some cases, the abutment is attached to the dental implant metal post when the post is implanted. That means you won’t need an extra surgical step. Because the abutment juts past the gumline, however, it’s visible when you open your mouth — and it will be that way until your dentist completes the tooth prosthesis. Some people don’t like that appearance and prefer to have the abutment placed in a separate procedure.

After the abutment is placed, your gums must heal for about two weeks before the artificial tooth can be attached.

Choosing your new artificial teeth

Once your gums heal, you’ll have more impressions made of your mouth and remaining teeth. These impressions are used to make the crown — your realistic-looking artificial tooth. The crown can’t be placed until your jawbone is strong enough to support use of the new tooth.

You and your dental specialist at White Align Dental Care can choose artificial teeth that are removable, fixed or a combination of both:

  • Removable. This type is similar to a conventional removable denture and can be a partial or full denture. It contains artificial white teeth surrounded by pink plastic gum. It’s mounted on a metal frame that’s attached to the implant abutment, and it snaps securely into place. It can be easily removed for repair or daily cleaning.
  • Fixed. In this type, an artificial tooth is permanently screwed or cemented onto an individual implant abutment. You can’t remove the tooth for cleaning or during sleep. Most of the time, each crown is attached to its own dental implant. However, because implants are exceptionally strong, several teeth can be replaced by one implant if they’re bridged together.

After the procedure

Whether you have dental implant surgery in one stage or multiple stages, you may experience some of the typical discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery, such as:

  • Swelling of your gums and face
  • Bruising of your skin and gums
  • Pain at the implant site
  • Minor bleeding

You may need pain medications or antibiotics after dental implant surgery. If swelling, discomfort or any other problem gets worse in the days after surgery, contact your oral surgeon.

After each stage of surgery, you may need to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals. Typically, your surgeon will use stitches that dissolve on their own. If your stitches aren’t self-dissolving, your doctor removes them.

Results

Most dental implants are successful. Sometimes, however, the bone fails to fuse sufficiently to the metal implant. Smoking, for example, may contribute to implant failure and complications.

If the bone fails to fuse sufficiently, the implant is removed, the bone is cleaned up, and you can try the procedure again in about three months.

You can help your dental work — and remaining natural teeth — last longer if you:

  • Practice excellent oral hygiene. Just as with your natural teeth, keep implants, artificial teeth and gum tissue clean. Specially designed brushes, such as an interdental brush that slides between teeth, can help clean the nooks and crannies around teeth, gums and metal posts.
  • See your dentist regularly. Schedule dental checkups to ensure the health and proper functioning of your implants and follow the advice for professional cleanings.
  • Avoid damaging habits. Don’t chew hard items, such as ice and hard candy, which can break your crowns — or your natural teeth. Avoid tooth-staining tobacco and caffeine products. Get treatment if you grind your teeth.

Cost

The cost of dental implant surgery varies, and the following factors can influence it:

  • the number and types of implants required
  • the location of the implants within the jaw
  • whether there is a need for any additional procedures to prepare the mouth for surgery

A dentist or another oral health professional can estimate the cost of dental implant surgery during an initial examination.

Other tooth replacement options, such as bridges, may be less expensive. However, bridges are harder to keep clean and often require replacement and repair, increasing the overall cost. Dental implants may provide longer-term benefits if a person takes care of them .

Summary

Dental implants are fixtures in the bone that replace missing teeth. Implants have a high success rate and can provide long-term benefits. Anyone considering dental implant surgery should ask their dentist at White Align Dental Care whether it is right for them.

To book an appointment with us at, ‘White Align Dental Care’– call us on +91- 8411813531. We pride ourselves to have the best cosmetic dentist in South Delhi. You can also mail us on whitealign.dentalcare@gmail.com

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