Things You Should Know About Dental Implants
When we think about dental implants, the main questions that popup in our head are: What is a dental implant? Does a missing tooth need to be replaced? Is placement painful? How long do implants take to heal? And others. These are some of the questions that always haunt people and force them to think twice before making any decision.
In the past, dentists used to replace teeth with treatments like root canals, bridges, and fixed or removable dentures. Unfortunately, these treatments are not that successful as many people reported problems after the treatment.
Many root canals treated teeth fail; Bridges can be cut down, and removable dentures can often be weakened and require glue adhesives. Dental implants are an answer to these problems, and many of the concerns associated with natural teeth are dropped, including dental deterioration.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is one of the famous and effective solutions for replacing a tooth. Implants are placed surgically in the upper or lower jaw, where they work as anchors for replacement teeth. It can be designed with titanium, gold, porcelain, and other materials compatible with the human body. This part attaches either to the abutment or directly to the crown’s implant (artificial teeth). If the crown is screwed to the abutment, the screw hole will be covered with a white filling material.
An implant looks and feels like a natural tooth. It fits easily in the healthy jawbones.
What is a Single-Tooth Implant?
Single-tooth implants are the procedure of replacing single missing teeth. A single-tooth implant is a free-standing unit and does not require treatment to the adjacent teeth. In a single tooth dental implant, the surrounding teeth can remain untouched.
Dentists implant teeth surgically in an opening in the jawbone. After the implant integrates into your bone, it acts as a “root” for the cap replacing your missing tooth. This cap or crown looks like a natural tooth, is joined with the implant, and fills the space left in the mouth by the missing tooth.
This procedure works only when the patient has enough bone in the jaw, and the bone has to be strong enough to uphold and support the tooth implant. If there is not sufficient bone, it may be needed to add bone augmentation. Existing natural teeth and supporting tissues where the implant will be placed must be in good condition for successful dental implants.
There are lots of reasons to replace a missing tooth. A gap between your teeth breaks your confidence and also makes your pronunciation unclear. Sometimes, missing teeth might not be noticeable when you talk or smile, but its absence can affect chewing.
When a tooth is missing, the biting force on the remaining teeth starts increasing. This extra force can cause additional pressure and discomfort in the jawbones. If a missing tooth is not replaced timely, the surrounding teeth can shift and, over time, may lead to periodontal disease.
What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?
Treatment generally is divided into three parts, and its process takes several months.
The dentist surgically places the implant into the jaw in the first step, slightly above the bone’s top. A screw is inserted into the implant to prevent gum tissue and other debris from penetrating.
Then the doctor covers the gum over the implant for approximately three to six months while the implant fuses with the bone. This process is known as Osseointegration and may cause swelling or tenderness. The doctor recommends some medicine and soft food during the healing process.
In the second step, the dentist attaches an extension, called a “post,” to the implant. After healing, the implant and post will work as the root for the new tooth.
In the final step, the dentist makes a custom artificial tooth, called a “dental crown,” of a size, shape, color, and fit that matches the patient’s other teeth. Once completed, the crown is attached to the implant post.
Note: the steps may vary depending on the condition and healing span of the patients.
Based on research, “Osseointegrated implants are safe and present high survival rates and minimal marginal bone resorption in the long term.”
Does it Hurt to Have Dental Implants Placed?
The actual procedure of dental implant surgically is accomplished under local anesthesia and generally not painful. When the anesthesia affects slow down, then you might feel some discomfort and pain. The pain level may vary from patient to patient, but in most cases, it is bearable.
In case of severe pain, you should see your dentist right away. Prolonged pain is not a good indication with dental implants, although it does not always mean failure.
If you have any queries related to dental implants, contact us at (843) 388-9690, we offer a free consultation at Dental Implant Clinic.