Why Are Implants So Popular?
Implants are currently the most popular means of tooth restoration due to their many merits. Some of the important benefits of implants are given below:
- Natural Looks and Feel- If you have well-crafted artificial crowns (upper, visible part of a tooth) placed over a strong implant they will function just like natural teeth. You can eat almost anything you desire, without worrying about damage or the denture slipping out.
- Superior Aesthetics– The crowns or dentures attached over the implants can be custom-made in beautiful shapes to match your other teeth in color and shade. No other restoration or cosmetic schemes can match the results produced by implant-supported teeth.
- Long Life- Dental implants, because of their basic strength and ossoeintegration, are virtually a lifetime arrangement. With just routine care and timely adjustments (if required) your implants can last decades without giving any trouble.
- No Embarrassment- Traditional dentures are notorious for causing occasionally embarrassment to the owner by slipping off or dropping out at the most inopportune moment. That can happen, when eating sticky foods, laughing, or even during intimate moments. Teeth on implants will never cause such embarrassment.
- No Bone Loss – Extracted teeth leave vacant space in the mouth. This may cause natural deterioration of the jaw bone around this gap. Implants will fill some of those gaps and reduce the loss of bone. Rather, implants encourage bone growth around them through the process of osseointegration.
- Retention of Natural Smile and Face Contours – Empty sockets and the loss of bone can make your face to sag inwards and give an unnatural aged look. Implants supported teeth will help retain your natural appearance.
- No Nightly Care- Conventional dentures have to be removed before going to bed and must be stored in a soaking solution. With implants, your teeth are in always in your mouth and not in a cup.
- Normal Speech- Removable dentures may cause your speech to blur. With teeth on implants, you speak with confidence, as with natural teeth.
- Other teeth are not affected- Adjacent teeth do not have to be trimmed or prepared in any way to allow an implant.
- Greater Reliability- Experience over years has proved that implants are definitely more reliable than any of the other restoration options.
Limitations of Dental Implants
Implants are not without limitations. No man-made devices can compete with your natural healthy teeth. But the limitations of implants are minor, except the upfront cost. Implants need regular inspections and possibly, occasional adjustments. The tissue around the implant may, in very rare cases, develop the disease (peri-implantitis) and need treatment. If not controlled in time, it could result in loss of the implant.
Who Can Benefit From an implant?
Any person who is looking to replace one or more teeth may be benefitted by an implant. Implants are an ideal option for replacing single teeth by using dental crowns, and for replacement of multiple teeth with bridges or removable dentures. Dental implants can also be used for replacing all missing teeth in a jaw by using a fixed complete denture which is supported by only 4 implants. This prosthesis is known as an all-on-four implant supported a denture.
Who Cannot Get Implants?
Implants take their strength from the jaw bone to which they osseointegrate. Therefore, it is necessary for the success of implants that the jaw bone in the site of the implant be strong, and sufficient in volume. Therefore, a decision whether you can get an implant or not can only be taken by your dentist after a thorough examination and discussion of medical history. Following categories of people should not be advised implants.
- Developing Jaw Bones – Implants are installed only in fully developed jaw bones. People under the age of 16 (for females) and 18 (for males) are not good candidates for implants.
- Insufficient Bone– A certain minimum amount of healthy bone is required in the jaw to support the implant. Those are deficient of bone in the area surrounding the implant will need additional bone in the form of a graft.
- Serious Medical conditions– If a chronic and uncontrolled diseases like AIDS has affected the ability to heal, the implant may not succeed.
- Pregnancy – The safest option for pregnant females is to wait till after delivery unless there is no other unavoidable reason.
The Implant Procedure
The standard procedure normally takes several visits to the implant dentist as below.
- Evaluation and planning – Patients are evaluated for suitability to receive an implant. If a bad tooth must be replaced it is removed. The gum is then left to heal up.
- Surgical Procedure – In the second visit the implant is installed into the precisely drilled hole, after raising a surgical flap. After implant insertion, the flap will be sutured back and the implant site will be allowed to heal without disturbance.
- Osseo-integration Period– Depending on the patient’s health up to six months may be allowed to permit a good ossoeintegration before the implant is loaded. A temporary crown can be applied immediately after implant insertion, but care must be taken to avoid loading the implant.
- Loading or Placing the Prosthesis – In the next visit, after the implant has integrated with the bone, the crowns or structures with multiple teeth will be attached over the implants. That is the end of the procedure.
- Checkup Visits-Further visits are not required except for inspection, and later, for a re-tightening, if needed.
Same Day Implants
The standard procedure takes months. Dentists have developed procedures for suitable cases to perform same day installation. Temporary teeth/bridges are attached and the patient instructed to avoid sticky and hard foods for about six to eight weeks.
How do I care for my dental implants?
The following steps will ensure a trouble-free life with implants.
- Good Oral Hygiene- That means regular brushing and flossing just like normal teeth.
- Avoid abrasives-Tooth pastes with excessive amounts of abrasives can scratch the surface of the artificial teeth, permitting habitat for bacteria. Also avoid pastes having compounds like sodium fluoride, baking soda, etc.
- Regular Checkup- regular checkup by a dentist will forestall the development of any disease setting in.