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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.

1) What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a permanent base to the fixed or replaced tooth. For people who suffer from missing tooth, lose or falling teeth or other chronic tooth problem, dental implants are recommended as an effective and long term solution to teeth related problems.  They are easy to fit and feel as real and natural as a real tooth, therefore are the preferred more widely as compared to dental bridges, braces or crowns. These can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple number of teeth depending upon your need and requirement.


2) Why do people choose dental implants?

Different people have different reasons for choosing dental implants, but the most common reasons among them are:

  • Improved appearance: dental implants supported by prosthetics have a more natural appearance than removable dentures
  • Better confidence: Prosthetic dental implants make a person feel more confident as there are less chances of the implant to loosen and fall out.
  • Comfort & convenient: They feel as natural as the real teeth and in most cases people do not even realise if the other person has got dental implants installed
  • Durability: Good quality implants last long and with proper care they go a long way in giving you the desired effects.


3) What is the process for getting dental implants?

Dental implants refer to replacing the original tooth/teeth with an artificially made crown. They are usually made of metal and are placed to fill in the gap caused by a missing tooth. To complete the process, depending on the amount of surgical intervention required, it can take upto 2-3 sittings. A comprehensive dental examination is carried out to understand the extent of work that would be required and to get the exact measurement of the tooth/teeth that requires replacement. This is followed by removal of the damaged tooth, preparation of the jaw with bone grafting to adjust the new tooth and placement of the dental implant in the designated place.


4) Can any dentist provide my dental implants?

Even though general dentists are comfortable placing dental implants, it is always advised to go to a dental specialist or dental surgeon for the procedure. Each patient is unique and so is their requirement. General dentists are well-equipped and competent enough to carry out the procedure but going to a specialist would ensure you extra care and additional support on taking care of your implants later on. Depending on your need, you can opt for a prosthodontist, who deals in restoration and replacement of teeth, or an oral surgeon who performs dental surgeries.


5) What are the advantages of dental implants?

The advantages of getting dental implants include:

  • Easier eating: Having dentures can make eating a difficult process. Dental implants are as good as real teeth and so makes eating and chewing food a less of a task.
  • Improved oral health: Implants allow easy access to spaces between teeth and gums compared to dentures and so are considered to be a better option when it comes to maintaining long term oral health and hygiene.
  • Improved self-esteem: Because dental implants look as natural as the real teeth it makes giving out that wide smile of confidence a lot more easy.


6) Do dental implants last?

Good quality dental implants are designed to last long. In some cases as long as 20-25 years. With proper care and a regular oral hygiene routine, you can increase the lifespan of your dental implants beyond their designated time period and keep all dental problems away. Follow a regular regime of brushing and flossing. Visit your dentist every six months for check-ups and to keep yourself updated on the condition of your implants. Avoid chewing or biting hard substances from the side of the implant. Take good care of the implants and they will last you long and give you the desired results.

Maintaining proper oral care and using the right toothpaste plays a vital role in keeping tooth problems such as plaque, cavities, tartar and tooth pain away. Visit our blog to know more about dental care and prevention of dental problems to keep teeth strong and healthy. 


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