DENTAL IMPLANTS

Dental Implants

If you have lost one or more teeth, getting dental implants will enable you to smile with more confidence. Dental implants permanently fill up dental gaps and at the same time protect your other teeth.

In case you need dental implants you can contact the NoFrills Dental practice in your locality to enquire if they provide this particular service.

When do you require Dental Implants?

When you have lost one or more teeth to disease or injury, dental implants might be what you need. Dental implants are very effective particularly for replacing missing teeth. You may need to get dental implants in case:

  • You have lost teeth and for this reason you cannot smile comfortably.
  • Your dentures are not comfortable
  • You are not happy with the service provided by your Removable Partial Dentures
  • You wish to preserve your existing teeth

Dental implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth or provide implant support to dentures. Dental implants are essentially posts which are surgically inserted into the jawbone. These implants act as artificial roots for the missing tooth or teeth.

Since dental implants have to be inserted inside the jawbone, the material making up the implants should be acceptable to the human body. The most common material used for making dental implants is titanium; apart from being non-toxic to the human body, titanium is also strong and light in weight. 

Missing tooth. Missing tooth replaced by a dental implant.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Dental implants firmly hold artificial teeth. Therefore a tooth, bridge or denture attached using implants cannot move or slip off your mouth whenever you are talking or eating.
  • The firm grip implants makes artificial teeth feel and appear more natural compared to normal dentures or bridges.
  • Dentures supported by implants are more comfortable compared to normal dentures without implants.
  • Dental implants prevent shrinkage of the jawbone especially where teeth have been lost.
  • With proper care, you might never need to change them all your life hence you get value for your money.

Single Tooth Implants

In single tooth implants, only the roots of one tooth are replaced. During this procedure the neighboring teeth are not affected. It is important to replace missing teeth due to the following reasons:

Natural tooth and root. Dental implant and crown.

 

  • The gap left by the missing teeth may make your smile less attractive.
  • Missing teeth can affect your speech.
  • Missing a tooth for instance a molar can make chewing difficult.
  • If a missing tooth is not replaced, other teeth near it may shift or tilt towards the gap left by the lost tooth.
  • The existing teeth may loosen and weaken and eventually the bone structure near tooth gap may be damaged. 
  • Missing teeth lead to the damage of supporting bone structure. This eventually causes the skin on your face to sag making you appear older than you actually are.

Dentures and Bridges Supported by Implants

When there are several missing teeth, dental implants may be needed to offer support to a bridge. A bridge supported by implants does not require support from surrounding teeth, because the roots of the lost tooth are replaced.  

In case you have lost all teeth then an implant-supported denture may provide the solution for you by replacing all your lost teeth and a few tooth roots. Since dental implants are inserted in the jawbone, implant-supported dentures are comfortable and immovable making biting and chewing feel as natural as possible.

 

Implant-Supported Denture

Before With Implants After

Implant-Supported Bridge

Missing teeth A bridge is placed on implants After the bridge is placed

What Is Involved in Implant Placement?

There are several types of dental implants. Depending on the treatment plan recommended by your dentist, dental implants can be placed within a day or the procedure may take longer; sometimes a couple of months. You need not worry about anything because your dentist will guide you through the procedure and recommend to you the most suitable implant type.

The implant treatment procedure normally comprises of three key stages:

Implant Placement
Firstly, your dentist uses x-ray images or other types of images to identify the precise location where the dental implants will be inserted. Afterwards your dentist inserts the implants inside the jawbone. It is normal to experience inflammation or/and sensitivity after the surgical procedure and your dentist can recommend some pain relieving medication.It may be recommended by your dentist that you eat soft foodstuffs while recuperating.  

Healing Process
The jawbone develops and firmly holds the implant making it very strong and firm. This process is known as osseointegration and it happens over time. It can take a number of months for the implant to be totally integrated inside the jawbone. It is after this that a patient gets a permanent tooth/teeth replacement. Most of the time, the dental implants and the temporary tooth/teeth replacement(s) can be made at the same time.

Prosthesis (Replacement Tooth/Teeth) Placement
Your dentist makes a tooth customized just for you in case you are undergoing single tooth implant procedure. This custom made tooth is known as a crown and it is meant to appear similar in appearance to your natural teeth. For implant-supported dentures and bridges, the dentist also designs customized dentures and bridges that blend with your other teeth and perfectly fit inside your mouth. Teeth replacements are then fixed on to the implants. 

While you wait for your replacement teeth to be prepared as the preparation takes time, you are given a temporal crown, denture or bridge. The temporary crown, denture or bridge enables you to continue with your normal day-to-day activities like talking and eating as you await your permanent replacement tooth/teeth.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

To be able to get implants you should generally be healthy and your supporting bone structure should be in a condition to support a dental implant. It is your health that matters more and not your age.

Despite the effectiveness of implants, not everyone can undergo a dental implant surgery. Before undergoing implant surgery, a patient must be healthy or have clearance from a dental surgeon. Additionally one needs to have sufficient bone structure to provide support to the implant. If bone structure is inadequate, then such a patient requires bone build-up which can be accomplished through bone grafting or sinus lift surgery.

Patients with chronic diseases like leukemia or diabetes are discouraged from undergoing implant surgery since such diseases slow down the healing process after surgery. Substances such as tobacco may slow healing as well and so patients using tobacco should talk to their dentists to be advised on ways to quit using tobacco. 

In case your dentist recommends implant treatment, you need to pay particular attention to your oral hygiene since it determines whether or not the implant treatment will be successful. You need to ensure that the area near the implant is clean because failure to do so makes you more prone to gum disease. Gum disease damages bone structure and gum tissues which are supposed to provide support to the implant.

Other Things to Think About

It is important that you talk to your dentist about your concerns and worries regarding implant treatment. Dental implant treatments usually run for a longer duration of time and may be more costly compared to other teeth replacement alternatives. However since you might never need to change dental implants for the rest of your life, they are worth the cost and time.

Regularly visit your dentist to ensure that your implants are always in good condition. Your dentist may schedule appointments to monitor your dental health to ensure that the implant and teeth are healthy and well taken care of.

Your dentist will also recommend that you practice routine dental care at home including flossing once and brushing twice daily. To protect your teeth from cavity and gum from disease, your dentist may recommend a special mouthwash or toothbrush.

You can always ask for your dentist’s opinion on the suitability of dental implants based on your dental needs. With proper treatment and oral hygiene, dental implants are the best and can guarantee you a lifetime of healthy smiles.

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