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What are dental implants? Should I Opt for them? What will be their cost? Do they have any underlying risks?

Ah, the questions are many and, so need to be the answers. Technological advancements have made dental implants more accessible and efficient than ever before.

This write-up is your guide to the world of dental implants. We will explore anything and everything related to them. Keep reading for more to make an informed decision about reclaiming your confident smile.

What are Dental Implants?

dental implant is a type of biocompatible metal post. It helps replace the root portion of a missing tooth. In the dental implant process, an artificial tooth (crown) is placed on the post (abutment) extension. This gives you the look of a real tooth.

Furthermore, dental implants are designed to be permanent. This is because they contact the jawbone directly. Also, they bond with surrounding bone tissue through the osseointegration process.

What are Dental Implants?

Why Do You Need Dental Implants?

When a tooth is lost due to any injury, accident, or disease, a person might undergo complications and discomfort, such as:

  • Rapid bone loss
  • Defective speech
  • Changes to chewing patterns

Replacing a lost tooth through the dental implant process can significantly improve the patient’s health and quality of life.

Also, dental implants are not just for cosmetic reasons. Yes, because do you know tooth loss can seriously affect oral health and overall well-being?

Yes, it can in the following ways:

  • Affects the way you eat and speak
  • An increased risk of gum disease
  • Bone loss in the jaw

Procedure for Dental Implants

Following are the steps involved in dental implant procedures.

  • A thorough dental examination is conducted, including X-rays and 3D imaging.
  • After assessment, the bone is prepared to ensure sufficient bone support for the implant using bone augmentation, sinus lift, and ridge expansion.
  • Now, the titanium post is surgically inserted into the jawbone. This stage may involve immediate loading of the implant. It allows a temporary crown to be placed on the same day.
  • Now, the healing period, called osseointegration, starts. It typically involves a few months.
  • Next, the abutment is added to the implant to hold the new tooth.
  • Finally, the crown or prosthetic tooth is placed onto the abutment.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

Most patients take things easily and do not experience discomfort during their treatment.

But yes, once the dental implant procedure is over and anaesthesia has worn off, it is normal for patients to experience discomfort. The procedure is not painful since it is performed with general or local anaesthesia to numb the mouth completely. Also, after dental implantation, the patient may notice mild pain because the numbness wears off with time.

Are Dental Implants Painful

Are Dental Implants Safe?

If you properly cared for them, yes, they do last for decades.

They will not:

  • Shift
  • Break
  • Corrode
  • Cause discomfort
  • Damage to your mouth

Also they also will not irritate your gums, jaw, or other teeth, unlike dentures and other removable prosthetics.

Dental Implant Infection

Infected implants are colonised by subgingival species, including:

  • Bacteroides forsythus
  • Campylobacter gracilis
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Fusobacterium nucleatum
  • Streptococcus intermedius
  • Peptostreptococcus micros

Different microbial complexes may colonise different patients. This indicates that optimal treatment should be directed to the specific infection. Hence, consult your dentist at once in case of any infections.

Tooth Implant Side Effects

Here are some possible tooth implant side effects that you must watch out:

  • Infection at the implant site
  • Damage or injury to surrounding structures. These include other teeth or blood vessels.
  • Nerve damage may also happen. It can cause numbness, pain or tingling in your natural teeth, lips, gums or chin.

Dental Implant Failure

Dental implant failure is classified as early and late implant failure.

Early Dental Implant Failure

Early implant failure means an implant showing clinical mobility even before the placement of a final prosthesis. It is called the rejection of the dental implant. This is usually due to biological problems where the body does not accept the implant.

Late Dental Implant Failure

Late failure happens after the dental implant has been done for a period of time.

Full Mouth Dental Implants

If you’re missing all your teeth, full-mouth dental implants are here to save the day. It can replace your teeth and some of their roots.

This is a permanent solution for several missing teeth or full-arch loss. Moreover, the full-mouth dental implants provide a natural smile while preventing the gums and jaw bone structure. Also, they resemble single-tooth implants. Around four to eight implants per row of teeth are usually fixed in the gum to sustain the tooth.

Single Dental Implants

A single-tooth implant or single dental implant consists of several parts:

  • Firstly, the implant. It is made of titanium, shaped like a screw or post. Also, it is placed into the jawbone.
  • Next is the abutment. It is made of porcelain, titanium, or gold. Also, it is attached to the implant. Generally, this part connects the implant to the crown.

All on Four Implants

All on 4 is a dental implant technique that replaces the upper or lower teeth with just four implants. These four Implants act as a natural support mechanism for placing and fixing a new set of teeth.

All on 6 Dental Implants

All-on-6 means all your upper or lower teeth are replaced with six anchored implants. It is similar to a bridge. But yes, all-on-6 implants do not typically require bone grafting. Hence, they are ideal for patients with low bone density or volume.

Same Day Teeth Implants

This type of implant offers an innovative and efficient way to replace missing teeth or stabilise dentures. The procedure involves the placement of a titanium implant into the jawbone. Further, it seamlessly integrates with the surrounding bone tissue.

Moreover, as the name suggests, same-day implants are capped with a replacement tooth or any row of teeth. The process is done on the same day they are embedded into your jawbone.

Front Dental Implant

A front tooth implant is designed to emerge naturally from your gum. It is similar to your original tooth. Also, it provides an aesthetically pleasing solution that is challenging to distinguish from natural teeth. Lastly, front tooth implants offer long-term durability and stability.

Mini Dental Implants

The mini dental implant is fabricated with a reduced diameter (less than 3 mm). It has a shorter length. But it has the same biocompatible material as standard dental implants.

Types of Dental Implants

There are several types of dental implants available, each suited to different needs:

Types of Dental Implants

Endosteal Implants

Endosteal implants are dental implants that are used to replace missing teeth. In this process, a surgical screw or cylinder (the implant body) is fixed into the jaw. After this, a post, or abutment, is installed. Now, once the bone has grown properly around the body and is strong enough, the surgeon positions a permanent crown on top.

Subperiosteal Implants

These implants are a tooth restoration option. They are used to replace missing teeth for patients with insufficient jaw bone density. Subperiosteal implants are placed and fixed under the gum line on top of the bone instead of directly in the jawbone.

Zygomatic Implants

Zygomatic implants are dental implants designed to be anchored to the zygomatic bones (cheekbones). The zygomatic bones are used in this. But why?

Some patients don’t have enough jawbone mass to support a regular dental implant safely.

Pros and Cons of Implants

Let’s understand the various pros and cons of dental implants:

Pros

  • Enhanced oral function and comfort
  • Improved appearance and self-esteem
  • Durability and longevity with proper care

Cons

  • High Initial cost
  • Need for a surgical procedure
  • Possible complications, although rare

Dental Implant Techniques

Now, let’s learn about various dental implant techniques:

Bone Preparation Techniques

Here’s how the bone is prepared for the dental implant procedure:

Bone Augmentation

The process of building up the bone is known as bone augmentation. Bone augmentation is a very common procedure in dentistry. It is commonly used for dental implants and in periodontal procedures around natural teeth.

Sinus Lift

Sinus augmentation or (sinus lift) is performed when the sinus floor is way too close to an area where dental implants are to be placed. This procedure ensures a secure ground or place for the implants while protecting the sinus.

Ridge Expansion

Ridge expansion refers to a lateral, surgical widening of the residual ridge (i.e., buccolingually) using osteotomes and chisels. This is like an expansion treatment that makes enough space to go for a bone graft and a dental implant.

Immediate Loading Implants

Immediate loading, or Immediate Function in some cases, is yet another popular technique. It involves the placement of a restoration within 48 hours of the implant placement process. Moreover, it can be applied if sufficient primary stability is achieved. For a single tooth restoration, this process is known as immediate provisionalisation.

Types of Dental Crowns

In simple words, these are a type of cap or cover. They are made and fixed to your tooth. Moreover, crowns can help make your tooth look and function better. You may need two or more visits to your dentist for a full dental crown procedure. Lastly, once the crown is fixed in place you can eat normally.

Now, let’s study different types of dental crowns in detail:

Porcelain Teeth

The tooth structure can also be crafted from porcelain or zirconia for proper functions. After this, it appears to be a completely natural tooth. Also, the porcelain tooth is added to the replacement root when the replacement tooth is completely integrated into the bone in the jaw.

Metal Crown Tooth

Dental technicians use various metals to make dental crowns. These include:

  • Gold
  • Nickel
  • Palladium
  • Chromium

The above metal crowns rarely chip or break. Moreover, they last the longest in terms of wear and require a small amount of enamel removal. They can also withstand chewing and biting forces.

Ceramic Teeth

Ceramic dental implants are considered holistic. But why?

Because they are biocompatible and do not contain metal. Holistic dentists often prefer ceramic implants because:

  • They promote overall health and wellness
  • Lowers the risk of allergic reactions and infection
  • Also, they reduce other negative health implications

Final Takeaway

In a way, dental implants are a significant leap forward in restorative dentistry. They offer unparalleled benefits for those seeking to reclaim their smile and confidence.

Consult a qualified dentist in Wimbledon to explore your options for dental implant cost and type of implant. Don’t wait. Take the next step today!