Dental implants are a great solution for individuals wishing to replace their missing teeth. They were developed nearly fifty years ago through the pioneering work of Swedish scientist Per-Ingvar Branemark. Current engineering techniques have enhanced dental implants for maximum usefulness. They have become a perfect solution for loose fitting dentures, which tend to move in the mouth. Current implant techniques offer numerous options including:
- Individual Tooth Replacement
- Front Teeth Replacement
- Back Teeth Replacement
- Complete Upper Teeth Replacement
Types of Dental Implants
The three primary implant types are:
- Root implant
- Plate form implant
- Subperiosteal style implant
Root implants are preferred over the other primary implant options, and are the most effective because they are the most similar to the size, shape and strength of the original teeth. Artificial roots are positioned into the natural jawbone while the patient is under local anesthesia. Once healing is complete and the jawbone is attached to the implant, a return visit to the dentist will be scheduled for the implant to be fitted with the new tooth. The process will require approximately three to eight months.
Plate form implants are ideal when the jawbone is too narrow to adequately support root implants. Plate implants are long, thin, and anchored into narrow jawbones. They are put in place similar to root implants, and in some cases plate form implants are immediately fitted with the restorations. In this case there is no waiting period for the healing process.
Subperiosteal implants are the obvious option if the jawbone has receded to where it is unable to support implants.
Post Implant Maintenance
Good oral hygiene is recommended under all circumstances, but optimal dental care is particularly crucial for dental implant recipients. Harmful bacteria can affect sensitive areas when gums and teeth are not cleaned adequately, leading to swollen gums and receding jawbones. Receding jawbones will weaken the implants, and removal of the implant may become the only practical option. Patients should visit the dentist twice a year as part of their tooth and implant care. With appropriate care dental implants can last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are dental implants?
A. They are artificial replacements for natural teeth. Metal posts are surgically implanted in the jawbone, and prosthetic teeth are attached to the post.
Q. What are the benefits of dental implants?
A. Implants provide a permanent tooth replacement solution. Dentures can be uncomfortable if they do not fit properly and tend to be loose. Implants provide a more pleasing appearance and function and feel more like your natural teeth.
Q. Who can perform implant procedures?
A. Periodontists, implantologists, and oral surgeons can complete these procedures. Restorative dentists can affix prosthetic teeth once implants are safely in place.
Q. Is the implant procedure painful?
A. There should be no pain involved with the procedure since patients are placed under a local anesthesia. You may experience some soreness after your procedure, but post-operation instructions should eliminate the discomfort.