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Dental Implants

Dental Implants

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a form of tooth root replacement. Dental implants are defined as an artificial tooth root placed into the jaw (upper or lower).The roots are strong and permanent and they appear as natural looking teeth. Implants are not advisable in children until their jaw size grows completely. However, in few medical conditions like orthodontic treatment, implants are advisable
Types of Implants
Implants are of two types:
  1. Endosteal (in the bone) implants - These are common in dental practice. They are commonly used as screws, cylinders and blades. These are commonly advisable and successful in patients wearing bridges or following removal of dentures
  2. Subperiosteal (on the bone) implants - These implants are placed over the bone with a metal framework coming through the gums. They are commonly used to secure dentures. The disadvantage over endosteal implant is they can be used only in limited areas

Advantages of dental implants

  1. The most important advantage is enhanced aesthetics and original looks
  2. Dental implants are permanent
  3. Dental implants are more successful than removable or partial dentures as dentures are uncomfortable and unhygienic
  4. Dental implants provide improved comfort as well as improved speech
  5. They can easily bear hard mastication forces without pain and fear of breakage
  6. Since dental implants are very hygienic they are easy to maintain and good oral hygiene is possible with regular brushing alone
  7. Dental implants are highly durable
  8. Dental implants actually eliminate the inconvenience of removing or wearing dentures thus developing more confidence in the person.

Disadvantages of dental implants

  1. Dental implants are costly and not everyone can afford them
  2. They are time consuming as the initial beginning of treatment requires optimum medical conditions and the healing process takes time
  3. They can cause allergic reactions
  4. They are not advisable in patients suffering from severe and chronic heart diseases, diabetes and oral problems like oral thrush and cancer etc.
  5. They cannot be used in patients on radiation therapy treatment

Dental Implants

Conditions demanding implants
  1. If a tooth or several teeth are rotten or broken in an accident
  2. In patients suffering from severe gum disease which has resulted in loosening of teeth making them unfit for repair with regular dental treatment
  3. In patients wearing partial or complete dentures, implants could be more comfortable
  4. Dental implants are not unadvisable in smokers, but sometimes oral hygiene lowers the success rate
  5. Dental implants are indicated in patients having minor or major bone loss. The grafting (artificial) replacement of bone increases success of implants

Dental Implants

There are several methods used in dentistry to successfully place an implant. The procedure requires a cooperative team of doctors and patients.

One of the commonly practiced methods is as follows:

Firstly, a hole of almost equivalent size of the implant is drilled into the bone. The implant is then buried surgically into the bone under the gums. Then, it is again surgically exposed from underlying gums. It is checked for successful integration and left untouched for proper healing. Now, abutment (a point where two objects meet) is placed over exposed surface of implant. It is again left untouched for proper healing. After final healing, an original lookalike tooth or teeth are placed.

Nowadays implants are used excessively in regular dental practice but very few people are aware of implants and their benefits. In future with the increasing trend of more and more people desiring permanent, durable, successful and beautiful teeth. Dental implants will be in much demand and at any cost. More developments in quality, availability, and cost will result in better prognosis.
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