What are dental implants?
Dental implants a great invention in today’s dental industry as they are able to provide artificial roots for once lost teeth. Dental implants are basically titanium screws, built into the bone to replace the original roots. After a few months, dental implants have the ability to integrate with the bony tissues in the jaw and provide a good base for crowns, bridgework or implant supported, stable dentures. This way even a total mouth reconstruction is possible, once someone has lost all of his/her teeth.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants? Is it suitable for everyone?
Generally speaking, if you have lost or missing teeth, you might be a good candidate for dental implants. Patients considering dental implants should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. There are however certain factors that one needs to take into account when considering dental implants. The most important thing is that you are in good health, as several conditions may have an effect on the positive outcome of your dental implants. For example, uncontrolled diabetes, bone loss, cancer, radiation therapy, smoking, alcoholism, and periodontal (gum) disease can highly affect the success rate of dental implants, therefore these all can be contraindications for receiving dental implants. It is important that you let you know your dentist/oral surgeon about your possible diseases, medications your taking and about your medical history.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Better overall appearance and easier eating: Dental implants will feel and look just like your original teeth when implanted and maintained properly. They fuse with your own jaw bone so they are a permanent solution for tooth loss.
Improved speech: Since dental implants are permanent and they integrate with your own bone, you won’t have to worry about moving dentures and hard-to-pronounce words. You will be able to speak again without the fear of having your dentures slip.
Improved comfort: Because dental implants will look and feel just like your own teeth, they will completely eliminate the discomfort that you were experiencing with removable dentures.
Durability: dental implants are very durable and long lasting structures, they can last for a lifetime when taken care of properly.
How successful are dental implants?
The success rate of dental implants can vary from person to person but generally speaking, more than 98% of dental implantations will result in successful bone integration. With proper oral hygiene, your dental implants will last for many years to come.
How are dental implants placed?
After careful evaluation, your treatment plan is being prepared by our dental team. During the first procedure, the dental implant, which looks like a small screw or metal post is being place into your jaw bone under local anesthesia. (General anesthesia is also available upon request at our dentistry). After placing the implant, the small wound is covered with a few stitches and the healing process begins. After 3-4 months (depending on whether uppor or lower implant(s) have been placed), the implant had enough time to integrate with your own bone so the it can be uncovered for further work. After exposing the implant, a healing screw is placed on top and following a short healing phase, a so-called abutement is placed on the implant that will hold the crown. In this phase, impressions are taken and the mold is sent to the dental lab where a technician will fabricate your new, esthetic crowns based on the mold taken at the dental office. After a few days, your new smile will be ready: at the final appointment, your new ceramic crowns will be cemented to the implant abutement. Because the implant is securely placed within your jawbone, the artificial teeth will look, feel, and function just like your own teeth.