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Beginner’s Guide to Dental Implants

Do you have missing teeth and hesitate to smile freely? Do you have difficulty in chewing food due to loss of teeth? Do you have frequently food lodged between teeth and the empty space caused by the removal of a tooth? If the answer is yes, a dental implant might be an ideal solution for all your problems. Missing teeth cannot only affect mastication and esthetics but may also damage the adjacent teeth and eventually lead to pain in the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint). The early replacement of missing teeth is crucial for the overall prognosis of the treatment process.

There are various options for replacement of the missing teeth like dentures, crowns & bridges, and dental implants. The technical advancements in the field of dentistry have improved the methods and the materials used for denture fabrication. Still, the dentures may cause bone loss, changes in the facial symmetry and also require relining or reshaping. Dental crowns and bridges take support from the anchoring teeth. The anchoring tooth is first reshaped for the dental crown to fit properly. Moreover, the areas beneath the dental bridges may be difficult to clean and may lead to accumulation of plaque. Due to all these reasons, dental implants are currently the best solution for the ‘natural replacement’ of missing teeth.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a substitute for a tooth root. It is a titanium screw that is fixed surgically within the jawbone. It supports and provides anchorage to the artificial crown, bridge or the denture that is connected to the implant.

Are you a suitable candidate for a dental implant?

There are few contraindications for dental implants like medical conditions such as bone diseases, diabetes mellitus, AIDS, and others. Also, chronic smoking and poor oral hygiene may affect the success rate of the implant therapy. The dentist can recommend the correct treatment option for you, after diagnosis and clinical tests.

Is the procedure painful?

The surgical process is always done under anesthesia. Surprisingly, the whole procedure can be virtually painless and you can go back home on the same day and continue with your routine chores without any break.

Is this treatment option safe?

Dental implants are made from biocompatible materials like titanium and sterilization protocol is strictly followed during the clinical steps. In some clinical cases, there may be anatomical limitations due to the vital structures like nerves, blood vessels lying close to the proposed site of the implant. The dentist assesses all these criteria and suggests the treatment process, according to the clinical situation.

What is the treatment duration?

Depending on the individual circumstances, the entire treatment may last from few weeks to several months. Various intermediary steps are involved in the implant therapy. A dentist explains the treatment plan and the associated factors before starting the treatment, which may help the patient to get an overview of his clinical case.

Do dental implants last forever?

Even, natural teeth don’t last forever. Everything has his shelf life and the same is true with dental implants. However, the overall success rate with implant therapy is found to be more than 90% in many clinical studies. Individual risk factors like smoking and poor oral hygiene affect the success rates.

The benefits of dental implants are many. If you want a replacement that mimics your natural tooth, then surely dental implant is the ideal option. Don’t let your self-confidence be affected by missing teeth and consult us, so we can tell you more about dental implants.