In this day and age, people are getting more aware of their oral hygiene. Despite patient education and medical advancements, people still suffer from tooth loss. The perfect solution to that is dental implants, these screws integrate with your bone and can give you your function and smile back.
There are many benefits to dental implants including improved appearance, speech, comfort and functionality. We always recommend dental implants for people who are missing teeth for reasons that we’ll be including on this page.
Furthermore, the best part is that dental implants don’t require any extra care or other oral hygiene techniques and, they don’t involve the use of adhesives that patient’s with denture use.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a device that is used to replace a missing tooth or a set of teeth. In simpler terms, dental implants are a foundation on which we place a housing (i.e. crown or bridge or denture).
Dental implants consist of a post, we embed this post into the jawbone where it acts as a foundation or in other words, an artificial root. This portion is usually made out of titanium and other impurities to provide proper osseointegration with the bone. This post holds the housing unit (crowns/bridge/denture) in its place and secures it properly.
The other part of the dental implant is the abutment, the abutment is placed on top of the post and on which the prosthesis rests.
Steps involved in getting a dental implant
Replacing a tooth through an implant involves 2 processes: A surgical phase and a restorative phase.
Step 1 – Surgical Phase
During the surgical phase, our OMFS places the dental implant inside the bone. This replaces the empty space that was there in your mouth. In some patients, the implant post replaces the site of the extracted tooth as well.
This post is left alone inside the bone for at least 2 -3 months and undergoes a process called osseointegration.
Moreover, if our surgeons think that you don’t have sufficient bone, we might place a bone graft. This whole process is done in conjugation with the dental implant.
Step 2 – Restorative Step
Approximately after 2 -3 months depending on your case your implant will be ready to house a crown or dental bridge in case of multiple teeth. At this point, our OMFS will place an abutment on top of the implant and your impression will be recorded.
These impressions are then sent to our lab to make a custom prosthesis for you and within a few days, this will be placed on top of your implant.
Implants in a day
You can get implants on the same day which basically means that if you have a broken tooth that needs extraction, our OMFS can extract the tooth and place the implant which is also referred to as “immediate implant”.
However, there are certain conditions such as bone density, health and several other factors that need to be met in order for you to get implants.
We would absolutely love to provide our patients with a replacement prosthesis till we install a permanent prosthesis in your mouth. Being said that, we only recommend this interim prosthesis only for social interactions as this may cause harm to the dental implant.
Here are some replacement prosthesis that we give
- Removable denture
- Maryland Bridge
How long do dental implants last?
We give out a set of proper instructions when we place dental implants. If these implants are taken care of by our set of instructions, implants can last as long as natural teeth if note more.
Implants mimic the entire tooth structure. If you don’t take care of implants, the surrounding bone reduces which may cause mobility in the implant. Therefore, it’s absolutely necessary for you to do regular brushing around implants and regular follow up check-ups at our clinic.
Dental Implants vs a Dental Bridge
There are many reasons as to why our clinic advises dental implants as compared to a bridge. Here are some
- Implants cost may vary from patient to patient. With that being said, a single dental implant will cost the same if not equal to a 3 unit zirconia dental bridge.
- A bridge requires adjacent teeth to be grided 2 millimeters from each side. This is to support the pontic (The crown in the empty space). The grinding of adjacent teeth damages the tooth structure and you may feel sensitivity. Whereas in implants, the adjacent teeth are not touched at all.
- Implants are more durable as compared to a dental bridge. If dental bridges are not taken care of, the gums may recede, the teeth supporting the bridge might decay and bone loss may occur around these teeth.
In dental implants, you don’t have to worry about this.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
With newer dental implants, these screws are able to support complete dentures. These are also referred to as implant supported denture, overdenture, all-on-8, and all-on-4.
When we’re talking about dentures, they’re relatively cheap and they’re a quick solution to get your teeth back. However, dentures have a big disadvantage. When a patient loses a tooth or a set of teeth, the bone starts to shrink both vertically and horizontally. This effect is exaggerated when dentures are worn because dentures don’t stimulate bone growth.
Implants, on the other hand, are embedded in the bone which is why they simulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.
Furthermore, with implants, you don’t have to worry about clasps or wires that hold a denture in place. These clasps/wires also damage adjacent teeth, that, however, happens at a very slow pace it still does.
Dentures have another disadvantage to them too, this is that patients often feel slight difficulty in their speech. Compared to implants, you don’t have to worry about any speech impediment.
Moreover, when we’re talking about dentures, upper dentures rest on the palate. This may cause a gagging reflex which may become a serious problem for the patient.
Dental Implant Care
Although implants are very durable, proper oral care and maintaining good oral hygiene is absolutely necessary for dental implants. If you let bacteria accumulate near the implants or in other words food particles, that may cause swelling inside the gums and bone. This may lead to gum recession and bone loss and this may cause loosening of the dental implants and ultimately, leading to failure.
We recommend our patients to do regular follow-ups with us and regular dental cleaning. Furthermore, we recommend getting dental cleaning of our implant patients at least twice each year.
Cost Of Dental Implants
The cost of dental implants varies from patient to patient and case to case. If you want to know more about dental implants feel free to call us at 03455336999 or you can schedule an appointment with us and we will be more than happy to give out a quotation to you.