10 months ago
Dental implants are an option for replacing missing teeth, just like bridges and dentures. They are used to support one or more false teeth. Some people prefer them because most implants look like natural teeth. A dental implant is basically a titanium screw used as a replacement for the root of a tooth once it breaks down. It is applied by attaching it onto the jawbone. Dental implants are generally safe and a tried-and-tested treatment. They generally last for many years, although like any product, there is no lifetime guarantee. Note that it depends on how well you take care of your dental implants and your diligence in making regular maintenance appointments for your implants that determine how long they last.
Generally, placing dental implants are easier to do than taking a tooth out. The procedure begins with a dose of local anaesthetic, which keeps you numb to the pain during the entire process. However, just like tooth extraction, you may feel some pain and discomfort during the days following the procedure. Treatment duration varies depending on the patient’s needs. Permanent false teeth are usually fitted three to four months after placing the dental implants. Once the implants are in place, your jawbone needs enough time to grow onto them and fuse to them to become stable. This usually takes a few months. In some cases, dental implants become stable in just a short time after surgery, so the false teeth can be attached sooner than expected.
Dental implants aren’t immune to problems. Just like natural teeth and gum tissue, bacteria can also coat and infect the gum around the implants if you neglect to care for them. If left untreated, your condition can worsen and lead to bleeding, serious gum infection, soreness, and pain. In some cases, implants fail to integrate or bond with the surrounding bone after the first stage of surgery. Possible reasons for this include infection around the implant, lack of healthy bone, smoking, and titanium allergies. There is lack of healthy bone if there isn’t enough bone for the dental implants to become stable. Integration will not occur because the implants move around within the bone. Smoking in particular, restricts blood flow to the healing bone and gums, which interferes with the bonding process. Titanium allergies, on the other hand, are an extremely rare occurrence.
If the patient is suffers from bruxism or an involuntary teeth grinding habit, this can also cause fractures on the porcelain of the crown of the implant. If during or even after the healing period the dental implants become loose, see your dentist immediately.
Should you decide to get dental implants, the dentist will discuss with you the potentials risks and problems you might encounter, how to care for your implants properly, and other information you need to know prior to the surgery.
BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)
BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)