What is Dental Implant?
Dental implants are used to replace one or more missing teeth in your mouth. Implants are made of titanium or similar materials that are well suited to the human body. They are artificial replacements for teeth roots that support a restoration or a dental appliance.
The dental implant serves as a bridge for the root of a missing tooth. In turn, this "artificial tooth root" serves to hold a tooth or bridge replacement. The closest thing to imitating a natural tooth is having a dental implant fixed to the jawbone since it stands alone without damaging the surrounding teeth and has great stability.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two main types of implants:1. Implant for Dentures
While every effort is made to make a good and functional denture, it is sometimes hard to achieve a stable and retentive denture. This is mainly due to the jaw bone constantly shrinking with age, smoking, or some systemic diseases such as diabetes or even chewing pressure on the existing denture.
However, there are new advances in making dentures. One such advance is an implant-supported denture that increases the stability of the denture. This kind of dental appliance requires the placement of implants in your mouth before making the denture.2. Implant for Crown and Bridge
Have you lost your teeth due to: Severe tooth decay, gum disease, trauma or even failed root canal?
You may qualify for implant treatment. Dental implants are used to replace one or more missing teeth in your mouth. Implants are made of titanium or similar materials that are well suited to the human body. Implants are artificial replacements for teeth roots that support a restoration or a dental appliance.Importance Of Replacing The Missing Teeth
Besides its cosmetic advantage, replacing the missing teeth will restore your ability to properly chew and speak. In addition, the space caused by the missing teeth may allow the surrounding teeth to shift into that space. This shifting could cause a misalignment in your bite that can result in problems with your jaw joint. These shifted teeth are harder to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay or even additional tooth loss.
Implant Treatment & Implant Placement
It normally takes a few phases and several months for your dentist to complete the implant treatment. In the first phase, your dentist will place the implants in your jaw bone. It requires 3-6 months for the bone to fuse to the implants.
In the 2nd phase, your dentist will place an extension or a post to extend the implants above the gum this process can also be performed during the first phase depending on the technique chosen by your dentist.
After your gums are healed, it is time for an impression to be made and a final restoration or appliance to be fabricated by the dental laboratory. In most cases, on your final visit, the restoration or the dental appliance is placed and adjusted to insure proper fit and function.
Implant Risks & Complications
While every effort is made to place a successful and functional implant, it is not uncommon for implants to fail. This is mainly due to lack of proper attachment between the implant and the jaw bone during the bone fusing phase.
Other problems such as:
- Breakage of the implants.
- Breakage or loosening of its restoration or dental appliance.
- Infection of the surrounding gums are also rare possibilities.
Finally, due to differences in the shapes of the jaws and the bone density, the back area of upper jaw may require an additional procedure such as "sinus lifting" to increase the predictability and long term success of the implant.