Losing a tooth can be an awful condition and may deteriorate the confidence of a person manifold. But in this era of scientific and technological advancement, there is a cure to every trouble that humankind faces.
Dental implants are appliances that are fixed into the mandible or maxilla, used as a substitute for the root of the tooth and holds the “fake teeth/tooth” in place.
This is a very sturdy and robust option as it allows the tooth to stand on its own without affecting any other adjacent teeth. This independence enables it to provide greater strength and a relatively long life span.
Not just an artificial new tooth, but, dental implants can also serve as a foundation for the placement of dental bridges.
All of these options are meant to fill the gap between two teeth, created due to missing teeth, which may have been lost due to any underlying cause.
Presently, dental implants are highly recommended and renowned for missing tooth replacement. Their success rate is also very high, making them an excellent and reliable choice.
A skilled dentist will perform minor dental surgery for the placement of a new teeth implant(or tooth), which is then allowed to fuse with the jaw bone by reintegration process, followed by the attachment of prosthesis.
Who Are Suitable Candidates For Dental Implants?
A person with a missing tooth, requiring a dental implant, must satisfy a few criteria to be eligible for this dental surgery.
They must have healthy and disease-free gums along with robust and sufficiently dense jaw bone that can hold the fake teeth firmly in place.
Patients who have periodontal problems like gingivitis or have suffered any bone loss due to abscess formation cannot undertake dental implants.
If necessary, bone grafting can be done to give strength to the underlying bone. Another alternative that can be used in such patients is mini implants, which are similar to conventional implants but have a comparatively thinner root. This helps them to retain their position more easily as compared to traditional implants.
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How Is Dental Surgery Implant Performed?
Pre-surgical Assessment and Planning: When you visit a dentist for a consultation, he will first enquire about the history of the condition and also your general health condition. Then a few tests will be run to check your eligibility for the surgery.
A few investigations, like an X-ray and CT scan, will be done to assess the condition of your teeth and the jawbone. It will help the dentist to plan your surgery in a better way.
Anesthesia: The surgery is performed under local anaesthesia to make the region of surgical intervention numb. However, IV sedation can also be used in place of an anesthetic.
The First Stage of Surgery: Most of the time, a damaged and incomplete tooth is often present at the site where the fake teeth are required to be placed. In the first stage of surgery, your damaged tooth will be removed, and “alveolar bone grafting” will be done. This ensures a firm and even base for the implant to be attached. However, if no tooth is existing in the place of implant, another type of grafting, called the “only grafting” is done.
After this grafting, it is then allowed to heal for approximately six months. The healing time is highly variable from person to person.
The Second Stage of Surgery: When the grafted site is completely healed, the next step is to place the dental implant. With the help of drills and other equipment, the dental implant, made up of titanium, is fixed into the bone and left to heal. It may or may not be covered with a temporary cap or crown for cosmetic purposes.
During the next few months, the implant integrates with the bone, which is known as osseointegration.
The Last Stage of Surgery: After complete healing, the implant is tested for its strength, and then the prosthesis is attached via a screw. This prosthesis is known as an abutment. After this, the crown or cap is finally placed over it.
What Are The Potential Risks Of Dental Implants?
There is a risk with any surgical intervention, and so is with dental implant surgery. It is essential to take a thorough history and perform adequate tests before the surgery to know the status of the patient’s health.
Some of the complications that may arise are- excessive bleeding, anaphylactic reactions, delayed healing, damage to surrounding structures during the surgery, or infection.
Another major risk involved with dental implant surgery is damage to the nerve root in the surrounding area, which may lead to severe numbness and tingling in teeth, gums, lips, and surrounding soft tissues.
Dental implant failure may occur in some conditions such as infection in the area, fracture of the implant, repositioning of the implant, or inadequate bone strength and quality.
What Are The Advantages Of Dental Implants?
There is a multitude of advantages of dental implants that overpower the risk, and hence, dental implants are highly recommended.
Some of the significant advantages of dental implants include:
Cosmetic Benefit: A missing tooth might appear as a taint in your smile, dental implants provide a permanent solution to this condition, that will give you a beautiful smile.
Improved Compliance: With dental implants, there is not an extravagant need for maintenance and care because they are fused with the bone, hence very sturdy. They allow the patient an enhanced spectrum of flexibility to eat any food item they desire without any constraint. This is because a dental implant serves as your natural tooth and is VERY robust.
Highly durable: Dental implants have a long life, and thus, you don’t have to worry about its replacement. With proper care, they may even last for a lifetime.
Better Oral Health: Dental implants placement does not affect any other teeth of the oral cavity. Hence, the minimum intervention will improve oral health.
Prevents Bone Loss: In the absence of teeth, it’s socket undergoes the loss of its mineral content, a phenomenon known as osteoporosis. Bone grafting and dental implant helps to strengthen the existing bone
Prevents Gum Diseases: A gap can accentuate the accumulation of food particles in the space in between. Hence, the gums can serve as a substrate for infection. Thus, it can help in preventing gum diseases.
Prevents Premature Ageing: It avoids sagging of the face and hence keeps a youthful look for a longer duration.
How To Care For Dental Implants?
After surgery, your body will take some time to adapt to the fake teeth, and you may face mild discomfort. Swelling, redness, slight pain are normal and generally present, which will resolve with time and do not require any intervention.
Dental implants lie deep inside the socket and hence, are not exposed to the food material entering the mouth.
However, you must take adequate care and maintain oral hygiene to prevent any plaque buildup or damage to the overlying prosthetic component.
You should brush your teeth regularly at least twice a day and also ensure proper flossing.
Flush your mouth with water or mouthwash after every meal to prevent any food particles from getting stuck in the grooves and ridges of the teeth.
General oral hygiene is essential to make the implants last longer. You must visit a dentist for regular oral assessment.
Are Dental Implants Covered Under Insurance?
Insurances are highly variable in their guidelines, but unfortunately, most of them do not cover dental implants. This is because they are regarded as a cosmetic procedure rather than a life-saving procedure.
However, with the increasing demand, certain companies are beginning to realize the importance of dental implants and include their costs under insurance.
Dental plans that cover implants include: failed dental implants, damage by any accident, and emergency dental care.
They, however, do not include cosmetic treatment, regular wear, and tear, or injury during sports without the gum wear.
Therefore, you must analyze and look for a suitable insurance plan.
Dental implants are a major help in the modern world. They help replace a tooth/teeth that have fallen out or have broken to bits and pieces. This procedure is trusted, robust, and VERY much worth the pay.
Other people would beg to differ only because they have been force-fed such information, this procedure has a staggering 90-95% chance of success.
Certified dentists do this procedure, and some companies cover dental implant in their insurance packages, you just need to find out who and where.
The success pros of dental implants far outweigh the cons.
No matter what happens, you must always take care of your teeth, brush regularly, use mouth wash, and most importantly, DO NOT forget to floss!
This concludes the post on Dental Implants; everything you need to know.