What are dental implants?

A dental implant is basically a simple surgical instrument which comes in use of supporting one or more false teeth. It is a screw made of the metal Titanium that is used to replace the lost natural tooth and its root. It can be placed in a jaw bone in a similar way as the tooth root.

What are the indications for dental implants?

One may need a dental implant when one needs one of these treatments:

  1. When there is a need to replace an isolated missing tooth.
  2. When there is a need to replace a few missing teeth which may or may not be adjacent to each other.
  3. In cases of old age, when all the teeth are broken or are damaged and the entire set of teeth needs to be replaced with new artificial teeth.

A person who wishes to have a dental implant must be in a good state of health- oral and otherwise too. It is important that they have healthy gums which are free of all kinds of diseases and infections.

People who are diabetic or are chain smokers are usually advised to not take up a dental implant because they are the most prone to acquiring a gum disease which is quite harmful for their health.

Candidates who have less exposure to sunlight and are patients of osteoporosis have a higher risk of failure of dental implants.

What are the advantages of dental implants? Are they as strong as natural teeth?

There are myriad advantages to dental implants.

  • Since the implants are made of Titanium, they are quite durable and can last for a lot of years if taken good care of.
  • They can give you the confidence of a good smile back. You no longer need to smile with lips sealed.
  • Unlike a tooth-support bridge, they don’t require reducing the other teeth.
  • One doesn’t need to struggle with pronunciation of different words which are quite difficult in the absence of a few teeth. With dental implants, one can speak easily.
  • It is not possible for cavities to occur in a crown, which is placed by an implant.
  • One doesn’t need to keep the dental implants in a cup of water while sleeping. There is no fear of dentures to fall off a candidate’s mouth.
  • There is no problem in eating any kind of food with the dental implants. Removable dentures give one an uneasy feeling but that’s not the case with implants.

The dental implants are better than natural teeth in many ways. Since an implant is an artificial Titanium root, they are strong and biocompatible with the gums. They provide resistance against bone and gum diseases.

Implants vs dentures. What are the various pros and cons?

Pros of dental implants:

  • Very low maintenance requirement
  • Lasts quite long
  • Functions and appearance is similar to a natural tooth
  • No cavities
  • No gum or bone diseases
  • No slipping or moving around because of a strong bond

Cons of Dental Implants:

  • Costlier than dentures

Pros of dentures:

  • Cheaper than dental implants

Cons of dentures:

  • Speaking problems
  • Eating problems
  • Requires a lot of maintenance
  • Discomfort and sores

What are the different types of dental implants?

There are two types of dental implants:

  1. Endosteal dental implants: It is an implant placed into jaw bone. It is the most frequently used one. The different types of implants include screws, cylinders or blades. Each of which is capable of holding up prosthetic teeth.
  2. Subperiosteal dental implants: It is an implant, which is placed on the jawbone, just below gums with a metallic frame that protrudes through the gums to carry the prosthetic teeth.

Who performs dental imparts treatments?

A dental implant can be performed by four kinds of dentists:

  • Prosthodontist
  • Oral Surgeons
  • Periodontists
  • General dentists

How long does dental implant process take?

The total approximate time for the whole dental implant process takes about 5 to 8 months. It can be prorogated if gums or bone procedures are needed.

Can dental implants be placed on the same day of extraction?

The dental implants can be placed just after extraction but it is not advisable. The most important part post an implant is the process of osseointegration, which may not happen completely if one wishes to have an implant just after extraction.

What are the care guidelines which should be followed after an implant?

  • One should not do anything that disturbs the wound. If possible, try to avoid rinsing, spitting or touching the wound.
  • There will be definitely some bleeding or redness in the saliva for a day. If you think that the bleeding is excess, use a gauzed pad to stop the bleeding.
  • To reduce the swelling in the gums, use an ice bag or a plastic or a towel which has splinters of inside them.
  • After the implant, drink a lot of water. One should intake soft food and cold fluids. Avoid hot beverages.
  • One shouldn’t miss the prescribed antibiotics.

What are the complications of dental implants?

The various risks and failures of dental implants are:

  • Rejection of foreign bodies: A body may reject dental implants just like an organ transplant. The body assumes the implant to be a foreign body and rejects it.
  • Implant failure: The implant may break or bend despite being made of Titanium in some cases. A clout or a blow on the face or constant grinding may lead the crown to break.
  • Allergic reactions: The traces of Nickel in Titanium may cause sores or irritation in mouth in some patients. There’s only one test to know if a candidate is allergic to Titanium or not, it’s called Melisa test.

How long do implants long?

If the implants are well taken care of and if the bone to which they are attached is healthy, the implants can last for a lot of years. However, there is no lifetime guarantee.

How much does an implant cost?

Based on the type of implant and the material used, there are various prices. It is always higher than INR 10,000.

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