Dental implants are used to maintain one or extra false teeth. It is a titanium post that can replace the tooth root when it has failed or has been removed for any reason. It is placed into the jawbone to replace the tooth root.
Implants are well-established treatment and it would be safe to say that the implants will continue to remain in your mouth just like your natural teeth as long as you take good care of them. If you provide them proper care and maintenance dental implants can last for more than 25 years because they are designed to function as a permanent tooth replacement option.
If you are considering dental implants for yourselves you are probably missing one or more teeth in your mouth and are looking for an option to replace the missing teeth with artificial ones.
How the surgery for dental implants is performed will depend on the type of implant you have chosen as well as the condition of your jawbone. The surgery itself may involve several procedures to provide a solid support for your new teeth. The dental implants procedure ensures that the titanium post integrates fully with the jawbone and requires several months before it can be completed. However, as a natural-looking teeth replacement option dental implants are the best available presently not only because of their durability but also their natural appearance.
The dental implant procedure requires adequate planning by involving different specialists. The specialists may include a doctor specializing in conditions of the mouth, jaw, and face, a dentist specializing in the treatment structures that support the teeth like the gums and bones, a dentist who designs and fits artificial teeth and in some cases and ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Dental implants require more than one surgical procedures and you will be evaluated thoroughly when preparing for the process. You may have dental x-rays and 3D images of your mouth taken to have models of your teeth and jaw made. Your medical history will be reviewed by the doctors before a treatment plan is created for you according to your situation.
You will be given anesthesia options during the surgery which may include local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia. Discussing with your dental specialist about the option best suited for you is suggested. The dental team will provide you instructions about eating and drinking before the surgery depending on the type of anesthesia you are being administered.
The surgical procedure for dental implants will be conducted in an outpatient setting and performed in stages. The procedure will include multiple steps including the following:
The entire procedure can take many months to finish after it has begun. Most of the time will be set aside for the healing and waiting for the new bone to integrate with the dental implant. Depending on your specific situation the procedure performed or the materials used certain steps may at times be combined.
During the surgery to place the dental implant, the oral surgeon will make a small cut to open your gums and expose the bone. Holes will be drilled into the jawbone where the metal post for the dental implant will be placed. As the post will serve as the tooth root it will be implanted deep into the bone. You will have a gap Where your tooth earlier existed and you may be provided with a temporary denture to improve the appearance. The dentures can be removed when sleeping and cleaning.
After the metal post is inserted into your jawbone the process of osseointegration begins where the jawbone integrates with the surface of the dental implant. The process may require several months but helps to provide a solid base for your new artificial teeth.
You may need additional surgery after the osseointegration is over for placing the abutment. This is a minor surgery and is performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.
After your gums have healed completely more impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth will be taken to develop the crowns that will function as your artificial teeth. The crown cannot be placed until your jawbone is strong enough to support the use of the new teeth. You can discuss with your dental specialist when choosing artificial teeth to determine whether you want removable or fixed appliances in your mouth. You can also opt for a combination of both.
As can be seen, the dental implants procedure is quite lengthy and will require a degree of patience from you to undergo this restorative treatment. You can also expect dental implant cost to be high considering you are undergoing multiple procedures over a few months and will require several visits to the dental office besides choosing high-quality material that will look and feel natural in your mouth and also remain that way for the duration specified above. Of course, you must also consider brushing and flossing your mouth as usual and visiting your dentist once every six months for cleanings and examinations to maintain the dental implants in prime condition.