Implant dentistry has laid the foundation for a new level of care and service that accomplishes today what was thought impossible only a few years ago. It is the most advanced therapy available to replace missing teeth.
In, fact, dental implants are becoming more and more popular among all age group because they enable you to regain physical confidence, psychologically enjoy and active lifestyle, improve your smile, help you eat all the foods you love, restore facial structure, and regain a youthful appearance. What are you waiting for?
What Are Dental Implants ?
Implants are metal posts (usually titanium) that are surgically integrated with the surrounding bone beneath your gums to act as artificial tooth roots.
These implants offer stable support to artificial teeth, whether in the form of a single crown, a fixed bridge, or a removable denture. A conventional fixed bridge still remains an excellent treatment option. However, many individuals who have lost or who will be losing a single tooth many be hesitant to grind down their adjacent teeth, especially when the adjacent teeth are free of cavities or restoration. For these individuals, a single tooth dental impant may be the ideal option.
Who Is A Candidate For Implants?
As with any medical or dental procedure, dental implants may have a compromised success rate in certain individuals. Some of the reasons to exclude dental implants as a treatment include: insufficient bone structure, poor bone quality, inadequate amounts of space between your upper and lower teeth, vital anatomical structure in close proximity to the proposed implant site, unrealistic expectations about the esthetic outcome, or a still growing mouth and face.
Certain health problems like diabetes, osteoporosis or chronic sinus troubles can potentially interfere with the integration of bone to these implants, and individuals who smoke regularly will usually have a poorer prognosis for the implants in the long run. However, with proper treatment planning, placement selection, and by utilizing the appropriate style of implant, the level of success has been tremendous.
To find out if implants are the right choice for you, your dentist will need to evaluate your health history, take impressions of your mouth for planning models, and take necessary dental x-rays. Your dentist will most likely request a CAT scan to help establish the quality and density of your bone, as well as determine the best placement and number of implants that will be required for long-term success.
How Do You Care For Implants ?
Different areas of the mouth typically have different qualities of bone. The front segment of the lower jaw has the densest bone, while the back portion of the upper jaw usually has bone that is softer and more porous. If it is discovered that you do not have enough bone in certain areas, do not give up hope. Recent studies have proven that implants can be quite successful in bone that has been augmented by either natural or synthetic bone grafts. The degree to which new bone will form within the grafted site differs from one individual to another depending on the type of graft used and the overall health of the patient. The long term success is, in part determined by meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits.
Although you cannot get cavities in implants or periodontal disease, it is possible to develop what is called peri-implantitis, which is an inflammation of the tissues around the implants. To prevent this, keep brushing and flossing as you normally would your own teeth, and don’t forget to schedule your regular check-ups.
Are Implant Procedures Painful ?
The procedures are performed without discomfort, under local anesthesia. Occasionally general anesthesia may be used depending on the individual and his medical history. Post-operatively there may be mild to moderate discomfort and some swelling, but nothing that can’t be controlled with the assistance of an oral analgesic that your doctor will prescribe.
Single Tooth Immediate Implants
Another topic of considerable interest is whether or not you are a candidate for placing a single tooth implant in a fresh extraction site (tooth socket). Dentists regularly wait for a period of six months after extracting a tooth before they place an implant. However, this delays treatment and may leave the residual boney ridge too thin for implant placement. A thin or resorted bony ridge is of primary concern in areas where the esthetics of your smile is in jeopardy of being compromised. The compromised quantity of bone could lead to cosmetic defects such as the loss of surrounding gum tissue.
Studies show that bone growth may actually be greatest after a tooth is removed. Single tooth immediate implants placement (according to a 1997 regeneration report in Journal of Practical Periodontics and Aesthetic Dentistry) is indicated in the following cases: 1. Teeth that are lost by trauma. 2. Teeth that are condemned due to fracture. 3. Residual baby teeth with root restoration. 4. Teeth with root canal failure.
The disadvantage of immediate placement is that placing an implant in a fresh extraction does not provide optimum initial bone-to-implant contact. As a result, the usual waiting period for the implant to integrate with the bone may have to be extended by about two months. Depending on what implant system is used, the waiting period will generally take anywhere from two to six months before the implant can be restored with a crown.
The immediate implant procedure has survived ten years of critical scrutiny and touts a success rate that is close to those experienced in an intact toothless site. Keep in mind, however that this procedure is not generic; it is only suggested to individuals who quality.
Implant dentistry and bone regeneration are among the recent miracles of modern medicine. Their impact on the field of dentistry ranks up there with the introduction of the local anesthetic Novocain (developed in 1904), and the air-driven turbine drill (introduced in 1957). With adequate time and proper planning great things can now be accomplished. If you are a candidate for implant dentistry (whether placed immediately after
extraction or not), do not rush the outcome of your dental treatment. These oral procedures are time consuming and cutting corners will compromise your esthetic results – as well as the integration of the implant to your bone. Be patient, and allow your dentist to accomplish one miracle at a time for a healthier-looking smile.