Mar 01, 2020
Modern dentistry has had a tremendous impact on the overall dental health of the world. Even then, many people are still losing teeth in adulthood. The loss of an adult tooth poses other dental problems for patients. Thankfully. Modern dentistry has various treatment options for tooth replacement.
What Are Dental Implants?
They are oral fixtures used to replace missing teeth. They feature metal posts made of titanium. The posts are used for replacing the roots of a tooth. Other dental solutions like dental crowns focus on replacing the external part of a tooth. Implants are unique in how they have to be inserted in the jawbone of the patient. They are a permanent solution to missing teeth. They are, therefore, considered a restorative dental procedure, rather than a cosmetic one.
Who Requires Oral Implants?
Your dentist will suggest implants as a solution to your missing teeth. Even then, there are some considerations for whether or not you are a suitable candidate for them. The affecting factors include:
- The health of your bone tissue – the titanium posts have to be supported by the jawbone it is why your dental expert will question the health of your bone tissue. If your bone tissue is thinning, your jaw may not effectively support the metal posts.
- The health of your gums – the gum tissue also plays a significant role in holding teeth in place. This dictates whether or not your gums will properly integrate the titanium post into your dental system.
- The number of missing teeth – patients with multiple missing teeth may worry over which treatment best suits them. The challenge with getting implants for multiple teeth is that you cannot use them for all the missing teeth. Since the procedure is a surgical one, it may wear down the patient. For such, your dentist may recommend different types of oral implants, or other teeth restoration methods like full dentures, partial ones, dental bridges, to mention a few.
Types of Oral Implants Used in Dentistry
The types of implants used in dentistry differ based on how and where they are installed. However, of the different implants, very few are considered safe for patients. The American Dental Association has verified the following two types of implants as safe for use in dentistry:
- Endosteal implants – they involve two surgical procedures. The first one is where an implant is inserted into the jawbone directly. Afterward, your gums are allowed to heal. After healing, another procedure is done. The second one involves connecting a metal post to the implant already inserted in the jawbone. Once the metal post is connected to the original implant, an artificial tooth is attached. This completes the external bit of the tooth restoration. Endosteal implants are the most common oral implants used in dentistry.
- Subperiosteal implants – they are used as alternatives to endosteal implants. They are different from the other implants based on how they are installed. The implant is usually placed on top of the bone, right under the gum tissue. In this type of implant, the gum tissue is relied on to provide ample support to the implant. After your gums have healed, an artificial tooth is attached on top of the metal post, as with endosteal implants.
Step by Step Procedure of Getting an Implant
- Treatment plan – a dental team coordinates together to come up with a specialized and unique plan for your treatment. This identifies the type of implants you need, and how many of them will be sufficient for a complete restoration.
- Incision – an incision is made on your gums, to expose the jawbone. Depending on the type of implant you are getting, your jawbone may be drilled to create room for the implant.
- Installation – the implant is placed on your jawbone or inside of it. The differences will be dictated by the type of oral implant you are getting.
- Closing the incision – your gum tissue is sewn back together and allowed to heal.
- Attaching the dental crown – a crown or an artificial tooth is used for covering the exterior of the implant.
Implant procedure timeline
The timeline of oral implant procedures incorporates the healing period of the gum tissue. Your gums may require between 6-12 weeks to heal properly before an artificial tooth is attached. This means that you have to keep in touch with your dental service provider throughout your treatment plan.