Dental implants are small, titanium posts or screws, surgically inserted in the patient’s jawbone beneath the gum line, where they serve as the root of missing or extracted teeth.
The titanium is directly fused with the jawbone; that’s why they act just like natural teeth. Implants do not slip, make noise or cause bone damage the way other dental alternatives, such as bridges or dentures, might. Furthermore, the material of dental implants does not decay like the natural teeth that support regular bridgework can.
Dental implants are permanent teeth replacements and are considered a better alternative to other dental restorations because they feel and function just like the original teeth. They cost more than other dental procedures but can last way longer. Moreover, dental implants need fewer visits to the dentist because they are easier to maintain.
Generally, dental implants might prove to be the best choice for you, if you:
- Have extracted or lost teeth.
- Have a jawbone with full growth.
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants.
- Have healthy oral tissues.
- Do not have health conditions that would potentially affect bone healing.
- Are unable or unwilling to wear removable dental alternatives.
- Do not smoke tobacco.
By replacing the entire tooth, crown, and root, dental implants offer natural-looking, feeling, and functioning replacement teeth in just five easy steps.
The first step for getting dental implants is consultation, in which patients help their dentists to better understand their smile goals. In the first consultation appointment, a preliminary examination of the patient’s mouth is also carried out, their queries are addressed, the estimated costs are discussed, and a proper treatment plan is developed. This is a great opportunity for patients to truly understand all the factors involved in this procedure and what they can expect moving forward.
The next step is preparation, in which the dentists address the diminished jawbone density, gum tissue volume and other oral health issues that can impact the restoration process. Patients might need one or more preparatory appointments in order for a dental team to prepare their teeth for dental implantation. In these appointments, dentists generally:
- Place bone grafts or soft tissue.
- Extract damaged teeth.
- Treat oral health issues like periodontal diseases.
3. SURGICAL IMPLANTATION:
The third step is surgical implantation. In this surgery, dental implants are placed into the patient’s jawbone. The oral surgeon makes a small incision in the gum line to open the gum and expose the bone. After that, multiple holes are drilled into the bone where the dental implant will be inserted.
Because this post will serve as the tooth root, it is inserted deep into the bone. Once it’s in place, a protective cap is attached to the implant post to allow the gum tissue to heal properly and retain the appropriate shape in order to accommodate the replacement teeth.
The fourth step in the dental implantation procedure is osseointegration. It is a process significantly essential for the success of dental implant surgery. It is the fusing process while the patient heals from the initial implant surgery. During this process, the jawbone grows and unites with the dental implant.
This process can take several months and helps provide a solid base for the new artificial tooth, just as roots do for natural teeth. Osseointegration occurs over a period of almost six weeks to six months, based on the health of the patient’s jawbone and the location of the implant.
5. PLACEMENT OF ABUTMENT:
Once gums have healed, patients will have to return to their dentist to complete the final step in the dental implantation procedure, which is the abutment placement. This replacement option can restore any number of missing teeth, from a single tooth to an entire arch.
The abutment secures the crown in place. Although the recovery from the abutment installation usually takes about two weeks, it will take about six weeks for your dentist to complete the fabrication of the permanent crown, and during this period, patients will need to have a temporary crown to cover the gap.
The healing process for dental implants differs from patient to patient. In the first 24 hours, patients are advised to eat only soft or liquid foods and avoid beverages with extreme temperatures.
Patients typically have soreness and discomfort for several days after this procedure, but medication can be prescribed to help with the discomfort. It usually takes 5 to 7 days for all the symptoms to subside and gums require almost 2 to 6 months to fully heal.
By following a few simple steps, you can make your dental implants last longer without any issues. The dentists also instruct patients about the aftercare program, which can effectively increase the longevity of dental implants.
- Practise good oral hygiene. Just like natural teeth, keep implants, gum tissues, and artificial teeth clean. Try to brush and floss your teeth after every meal.
- See your dentist after regular intervals. Schedule dental appointments periodically to ensure the health and proper functioning of your implants.
- Avoid damaging habits. Try to give up teeth-grinding habits or get proper treatment for that. Also avoid chewing hard items, such as nuts, ice and hard candies, which can break the crowns or natural teeth.