Dental implants are one of the greatest inventions in cosmetic dental history. These replacement prosthetics are leaps and bounds better than dentures, as well as superior to removable or fixed bridges, since they feel and act more like natural teeth. We have been lucky enough to have some personal experience with dental prosthetics and have found them to be quite wonderful, although they were troublesome at first.
This essay helps dental patients to better understand how implants work and assists in deciding if this wonderful technology might be right for their own oral care needs.
Dental Implants Explained
Tooth implants describe the actual metal device which is surgically placed into the jawbone. These implants are like hollow metal screws that are literally drilled into place and anchored by the healing of the bone around the device.
Once the bone is fully healed and the implant is secure, then the tooth restoration can begin, using a metal post and crown.
Placement of the implant is usually the easiest part and is basically pain-free. However, during healing, there will be some possible bleeding and discomfort.
Restoration of the crown can be a more complex matter and takes a real artist’s hand to achieve excellent results.
Once fully restored, the tooth feels and acts like an organic structure, since it functions as such and does not require any specialized care.
Facts About Tooth Implants
Teeth implants are not for everyone. Patients must have enough bone mass to support the implant, in order for them to be installed. It is normal for people to lose bone mass as they age and the loss will be greater if there is no natural tooth in the space. However, bone grafting can be accomplished to allow many contraindicated patients to receive tooth implants.
Patients must be on antibiotics during the implant installation procedure, in order to minimize the possibility for infection. Implants might not be a good choice for people with compromised immune systems or patients on certain types of medication.
Dental prostheses are usually installed by a team of dentists. One actually specializes in the surgical installation, while others are experts in restoration of the crown.
In some cases, a single dentist may provide all the services, but this is less common and efficient.
Dental Implant Applications
The most common and obvious use for implants is to replace single missing teeth anywhere in the mouth. However, multiple implants can be used to replace several missing teeth and mini-implants can be used to secure permanent dentures.
I had 2 teeth replaced with implants this past year and was thrilled with the process. I had a complication in which one of the the implants did not take properly and had to be replaced after 2 months of healing. This, and other restoration complications, prolonged the entire treatment process to almost 7 months.
However, now all is well and I love my new teeth. The only thing I do differently is to make sure to floss them daily, as the implants have a tendency to collect food particles more than natural teeth. I am told that this will decrease with time, as the gums grow around the implant.
I can personally recommend implant prosthetics and think they are light years ahead of bridges.
For more information about undergoing tooth replacement using implant prosthetics, consult a specialist in restorative and cosmetic dentistry today.