Dental implant procedure

A dental implant can best be described as a titanium screw that is used to replace a missing or damaged root. If the truth be told, dental implants have had a massive impact and are one of the few notable advances in cosmetic dentistry. They are typically used to replace a missing tooth or in order to anchor multiple teeth together. However you will usually require dentures whenever all of your teeth from either the upper or lower jaw are missing. In order for the implant to correctly fuse over the bone tissue, typically either a single crown, a brace or denture is placed over the implant to protect it during the healing process.

If you suffer with loose, missing or decayed teeth you will actually find a dental implant can have quite a dramatic impact. Many people choose this type of treatment after either naturally losing their teeth or because of an accident however the procedure is often completed purely for cosmetic reasons. There are numerous things that dental implants can do for you and your teeth and these will include:

  • They can halt or even reverse bone loss which can come about whenever you lose teeth
  • Dental implants can help to eliminate gum irritation and especially the pain you feel when the nerves are exposed from using dentures
  • They can make your mouth appear more attractive and should allow you to speak with confidence and in a relaxed and natural tone
  • This, of course, can lead to high levels of confidence and an improved self-esteem and all because you now have a beautiful and healthy smile
  • Dental implants can also help to eliminate the inconvenience of having to use a messy denture adhesive, which typically must be reapplied numerous times a day
  • Dental implants have been known to restore the effectiveness and efficiency with which you can chew. This can vastly improve your natural ability to actually taste food, which should mean that you enjoy your food more and this may also promote better nutrition

The most common procedure is dental implant surgery. Your dentist will initially introduce a local anaesthesia to the relevant area. An incision will then be cut into the gum’s soft tissue which will create a flap. The main reason for this is to fully expose the jawbone. Once this spot has been marked, an osteotomy (a hole) will be drilled into the bone. The implant will then be inserted into the hole and screwed tightly with either a dental motor or manual ratchet. Once the implant is in place, the flap will then be stitched up. On average a single implant will take no longer than an hour. You will then usually be observed for a short period of time before being sent home.

Another procedure that you will need is the restoration of your dental implants. This is the process of creating an artificial tooth and then connecting it to the original dental implant. This is achieved by your dentist firstly punching a hole in the gum tissue directly above the dental implants. A metal cylinder known as an abutment will be screwed on top of the implants. The abutment is what the artificial tooth will actually be built onto. Once this has been correctly fitted, your dentist will then measure your teeth by making an impression. This is typically where your dentist will place a blue Play-Doh like material into your mouth to make a mould. After this has been completed your dentist can send the measurements directly to the lab who will build your final tooth. A temporary implant tooth is used until the final tooth is ready to be placed into your mouth.

Both of these procedures are carried out fairly regularly and are not particularly complicated. Often a sinus lift or dental bone graft is needed at the same time, but this will very much depend on your jaw bone anatomy. The complete procedure will typically take anywhere from 3 to 9 months, but this will vary from patient to patient. The majority of this time is actually spent on healing the tissue and actually waiting for new bone to grow inside your jaw. However it must be said there is also procedure known as immediate loading. In certain cases a dentist may decide to restore dental implants immediately after dental implant surgery. This whole procedure can be completed on the same day and often a patient is ready to go home on that very day.

It is extremely unlikely to see complications or failures with this procedure. Success rates are very, very high. In fact the success rate of dental implant procedures is 98%. The risk of failure is mainly down to a number of factors which include whether the patient smokes, has insufficient bone mass, or is generally not in good health. Another potential complication would be a dental implant infection however this is most often caused by the patient’s poor oral hygiene.

Last updated on Apr 1st, 2011 and filed under Dental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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