Until their teeth begin to ache, most people leave their oral health care unattended. With a little attention and care, our teeth can have a healthy and long life. But only when things go wrong their value in our lives is realised.
Some issues such as inflammation, tooth decay etc. can be treated with the help of simple procedures. But for cases where a person loses one or more teeth due to any reason like injury or periodontal disease, a dental implant is used to replace the teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
Endosseous implants or dental implants or fixtures are prosthetics that are used to replace a broken or a removed tooth in your mouth. They are artificial tooth roots that are placed in your gums to interface with the bone of the jaw or the skull. These are made up of ceramic materials and metals such as titanium. These implants are compatible with your jaw and are also, very natural looking. They get easily fused with the jaws and support the prosthetics such as bridges, crowns, facial prosthesis or even full dentures.
Titanium is used as it forms a strong bond with bones by the biological process of osseointegration. A variable amount of time is required from person to person to allow the root to osseointegrate and then prosthetics are added on their top.
Types of Dental Implants
1. Endosteal or in the bone - Blades, screws or cylinders are surgically placed in the jaw. One implant can hold one or more teeth.
2. Subperiosteal or on the bone - These type of implants are placed on the top of bone and the metal framework protrudes from the gums in order to hold the implant in place. Generally used for patients with minimal teeth height and cannot wear conventional dentures.
Do you need Dental Implants?
A person must have a good oral health, that is, they must not carry diseases like the periodontal disease to qualify as a good dental implant candidate.
Adequate bone height is required in the jaw to support the implant. In these cases, Subperiosteal implants can be used or Endosteal implant can be used after building up the jaw prior to the implantation.
Chronic illnesses such as diabetes and leukaemia can interfere with the healing process after the implant procedure has been done. Also, smoking can increase the risk of losing an implant.
What does the treatment involve?
It is an in-office procedure that can be done in one seating with the help of anaesthesia to reduce pain. A dentist and a periodontist consult the patient and tailor the perfect implant and implantation procedure as per the patient's demands. Also, a treatment plan is specially designed to suit the patient.
After the procedure, some pain and swelling is normal and can be controlled by taking prescribed medication. A diet of soft, easily chewable and cold foods is suited during the healing process. After two to three months the prosthetic is placed on top of the implant. During the healing process, however, a temporary crown is provided by the dentist to help in the chewing and speaking.
How to care for your Prosthetic teeth?
Dental implants are exactly like your own natural and teeth and need all the regular oral health and hygiene care as a natural tooth. The bacterial biofilm formation must be controlled on the teeth.
A periodic check-up must be done with the dentist and the periodontist to check the functionality and the integrity of the implant. Along with this, the prescribed medication should be taken at time for quick healing of the implant
Dental implants are very important as they restore a person's confidence by giving them an enhanced smile. Before deciding on getting a dental implant it should be extensively discussed with a dentist and periodontist.