Dental Implants – Your Guide to the Finer Details
February 13, 2020 Dr Derek Faktor
What Are Implants and When it’s necessary?
Dental implants are replacement of tooth roots, and they provide a strong base for fixed or removable teeth that are made to match the natural teeth. They are necessary when someone has missing teeth and do not want to get bridges, dentures, or crowns.
Why Would You Need a Dental Implant?
When the jawbone begins to deteriorate because of missing teeth, it often causes the face to appear sunken in. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. They are very stable and can look and feel like natural teeth because they integrate into the bone structure.
Categorization of Dental Implants
Endosteal implants are placed through surgery directly into the jawbone. Once the gum tissue has healed, a second surgery is required to connect a post to the original implant.
These consist of a metal frame that is fixed onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue.
Zygomatic Implants are explicitly designed for patients with bone loss and are tilted. They are placed in the cheekbone, which is very dense and provides excellent support.
Techniques of Dental Implants
Before you get into the details of the techniques for these dental fixtures, it is crucial to understand why these may be important. Here are the finer details of the methods so you may read and get the necessary information.
This involves regenerating or restoring bone in the jaw when it is not able to support implants otherwise.
This involves adding bone below the sinus in cases where the natural bone has decayed due to missing upper back teeth.
If the jaw is not wide enough to support the titanium fixture, a bone graft material can be fixed to a small space or a ridge, created along the top of the jaw.
These are used to analyze the anatomy of the jaw and determine the best sites for implant placement before surgery.
Immediate Load Dental Implants:>
They allow placement of a temporary tooth during the same appointment as for your implant surgery and treatment.
Mini Dental Implants:>
These are narrower than most commonly used ones and are mainly used to stabilize a lower denture.
They are an alternative to placing a bottom or top set of replacement teeth.
Dental Implant Costs
A conservative cost estimate for a single implant is around $3,000-$4,500. Although the cost also varies according to the types and requirements, still the overall price is quite high. Dental insurance usually does not pay for dental implant placement, but you may even check with your dentist or dental clinic for details and information.
Dental Implant Procedure at Dentistry
During the consultation and planning stage, the dental surgeon will visually determine the area in the mouth where a dental implant is being considered as well as look at dental imaging studies like panoramic films, X-Rays or CT scans.
The first phase of oral surgery mostly includes a tooth or teeth extraction. Mostly an “alveolar bone graft” is placed to achieve a solid foundation of bone for further surgery and treatment. This area will be allowed to heal for two to six months.
Once enough healthy bone is present, the site is ready for the treatment. During the implant placement appointment, the titanium post is fixed into the bone with a special drill and tools. A “healing cap” is fixed over the implant, the gum is stitched up, and the healing phase starts. During this healing phase, a temporary denture can be customized to replace missing teeth for aesthetic purposes.
After the needed healing period, the dental implant is tested to observe whether it was successfully taken up by the surrounding bone. Once the surgeon has confirmed this, a prosthetic component is integrated via a screw. This component is called an “abutment”. This material is used to hold the replacement tooth or “crown”. The dentist will take an impression of this abutment in the mouth and have the implant crown customized according to the patient.
How Long Does Dental Implant Take?
The process is accomplished in two phases, and the complete process can take six to nine months. It might take longer if an extraction needs to heal or bone grafts are required before the posts are implanted. A single tooth implant surgery can mostly take one to two hours from start to finish.
What to Expect After Dental Implant?
- Swelling of the gums and face
- Bruising of the skin or gums
- Pain at the site of the implant surgery
- Minor bleeding
How Long Does a Dental Implant Last?
Implants are likely to last 25 years, possibly longer with extra care. One should avoid bad habits, like chewing hard candy, as well as tobacco and tooth-staining drinks like tea, coffee, and red wine.
What are the Signs of Failure in This Procedure?
- Pain can be a potential sign that something is not right, but it can also be part of the healing process.
- Some minor swelling immediately after implantation is normal, but if the gum tissues begin to look inflamed and red, it could be a sign of infection.
- If one gets a feeling as if the implant is becoming loose in the jaw.
Selfcare after Dental Implant –
What to Eat:
For the first few days, it might be better to stick to pureed foods, like yogurt, soups, and ice cream. Soft fruits like peaches, bananas, and melons are also good options.
When to Brush/ How to brush:
One should brush twice a day and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently move the brush back and forth, as well in circular motions.
What to Avoid after Dental Implants:>
One should only have cold drinks and should not eat until the local anesthesia has worn off. The patient should avoid hot food or hot drinks for the first day and do not ‘swill’ liquid over the area. One should not undertake strenuous exercise for the early 48 hours.