Toothless No More: The Basics of Dental Implants
Dental implants are growing to be a norm in many countries. Some people grow up to be toothless, while others lose their pearly whites in accidents. There are different reasons as to why a person seeks out dental implant surgery. But despite its increasing popularity, dental implants are still an unknown dental procedure to many others.
First Things First: What is a Dental Implant?
The American Academy of Implant Dentistry defines dental implants as the closest thing that we can possibly get to healthy and natural teeth. At its core, this truly is what dental implant surgery offers – a way to replace our natural, real teeth. Dental implants perform just as well, and look just as real. If you’ve never seen or noticed one, it’s probably because you couldn’t tell that they were implants in the first place.
By definition, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root. It can look like a typical screw, but its application serves the dental profession. Once the implant is screwed into the jawbone, the healing process allows the implant to bond with the bone, and this now becomes the base that supports the artificial tooth, which we call a crown.
Imagine the implant screwed through the gums and into the jawbone – its topmost part peeking through. A connector, which we refer to as an abutment, is placed on top of this aforementioned part of the implant. The crown, which can look like a real tooth, then fits into place on the abutment.
What Just Happened: So, How Do I Get a Screw Inside My Mouth?
Before getting into the procedures, it is important to know that there are two main types of implants, categorized by the way they engage the jawbone.
• The first type is the most common type of dental implant, the endosteal implant. It is usually made of titanium and it goes through the jawbone.
• The second type is the subperiosteal implant, wherein the implant is placed beneath the gums, but not through the jawbone. It can locate itself either on or above the jawbone. It’s the option for people who do not have the sufficient jawbone for the endosteal implant, do not want to undergo any sort of bone augmentation.
Getting a dental implant entails going through several procedures that stretch out over the course of three to nine months. Depending on how quickly you heal, and unless there are any complications, it can be a really quick process. Listed below are the usual procedures when getting a dental implant surgery.
1. Preparation Phase – This includes planning for the entire procedure, which begins with you ensuring your health and safety. Consult with the necessary specialists and secure a comprehensive dental exam; a thorough and complete review of your medical history; and the treatment plan.
2. Removal/Clearing Phase – This covers all necessary procedures wherein the damaged tooth is removed and the gum is cleared for the dental implant.
3. Grafting Phase – If necessary, this is the procedure of preparing the jawbone for the dental implant.
4. Implant Placement Phase – This is the part of the procedure wherein the dental implant is connected to the jawbone.
5. Healing Phase – Once the gums have been sewn over after the dental implant has been placed, this is the part wherein we wait for the bone to grow and heal.
6. Abutment Placement Phase – This is part of the procedure wherein the abutment is connected to the implant after cleaning the site area.
7. Crowning Phase –The last part of the surgical procedure, this is when the artificial tooth is attached to the abutment, hence fully assembling the dental implant.
Still Uncertain? Tell Yourself This: I Want to Smile with a Nice Set of Teeth
It seems like a tedious process, but these are all necessary to ensure that your dental implant surgery proceeds accordingly. That said, once you’ve healed from the surgery, the rewards willbe worth it. Here are some of the advantages to getting a dental implant:
• Improved aesthetics and a boost in self-confidence
• Better speech, unlike with ill-fitting dentures
• Improved comfort from not having to deal with gaps in your mouth when eating or speaking
• Durability, especially when compared to dentures and natural, but deteriorating teeth
• Improved oral health
Given the above-mentioned benefits, it makes sense to also look at the risks involved in dental implant surgery. The chances of these problems arising, however, range from rare to none, as the success rate for dental implant surgery is 98 percent. Below is a list of the possible problems that come with getting the procedure.
• Infection at the site area of the implant
• Damage to the surrounding area, such as neighboring teeth, blood vessels, or the jawbone
• Nerve damage, which can cause a numbing or sharp, piercing pain
• Sinus problems, which can occur when implants installed in the upper jaw come into contact with either of your sinus cavities
All things considered, what reasons do you have to not get a dental implant when you’re smiling a toothless smile? These risks, when compared to the advantages, are negligible.