The introduction of implants in dentistry has raised the foundation for a new level of dental care that was thought impossible just a few years ago. A dental implant is the most advanced treatment for the replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants can restore functionality, durability, strength and a natural appearance.
What are dental implants? A dental implant is an artificial root to which a new tooth is fixed. Predominantly made of titanium as it is safe and biocompatible, implants are a permanent solution that your bone will grow and bond with. Once this bonding process is complete a restorative tooth, known as a crown, is affixed to give your smile a seamless, strong and functional fix.
A bridge is a fixed dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth (or several) by joining an artificial tooth permanently to adjacent teeth. Types of bridges may vary, depending upon how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth.
Are all patients candidates for implants? The application of dental implants has a very high percentage of success. Some reasons to exclude a dental implant as a treatment option are: insufficient thickness of bone, poor bone quality, large space between the upper and lower teeth, unrealistic expectations for aesthetic effect, age (for those who are still being developed). Certain chronic diseases like diabetes or osteoporosis can prevent osseointegration of implants. Individuals who smoke regularly are usually worse candidates for implants in the long run.
However, with the correct treatment planning, selection mounting and using the appropriate style of implant, the success rate is very large. To find out if implants are the right choice for you, we need to assess your health history and your habits along with a radiographic image of your mouth. It is also very likely to have a CT scan which assists in determining the quality and quantity of bone, along with the method and the number of implants that will be needed for long term success .
Different areas of the mouth usually have different properties of bone. For example, the front portion of the lower jaw has the densest bone, while the rear of the maxillary bone is usually softer and more porous. If it is determined that you do not have enough bone in some places an implant prognosis is not good. Recent studies have demonstrated that successful placement of a dental implant can be increased either by natural or synthetic bone graft.
Taking care of the implants. The long-term success of implants is determined by meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If the cavities around implants are not cleaned it can lead to the development of periodontal implant disease, called peri-implantitis, which is the inflammation of the tissues around implants. To avoid this, excellent oral hygiene is essential.
Is the implantation procedure painful? The implantation procedure is straight forward and is performed with the help of a local anesthesia. Postoperatively, there may be mild to moderate irritation and some swelling, but with analgesic and anti-inflammatory prescribed medications, postoperative symptoms are minimal.