10 facts about Dental Implants

Do you have missing teeth? Are you confused about the choice for your tooth replacement? Do you know about implants?

Here are some frequently asked questions about Dental Implants that help you understand better. Read on……..

What are dental implants?

Dental Implant is an artificial replacement for your missing teeth. This is a fixed replacement which you cannot remove. The implant replacement therapy is a two phase treatment. In the first phase of treatment, the implantologist will place a titanium screw within the bone in the missing tooth area. This post/screw should heal, which can be for upto 6 months. The healing phase is referred to as the period of ‘Osseointegration” ( The implant has to fuse with the surrounding bone ). In the second phase of therapy, your dentist will place a crown or the tooth structure to complete the procedure.

What are implants made of?

Dental implant post is made of titanium. Titanium is a biocompatible material and fuses well with your bone. This fusion of the titanium screw with the bone is called ‘osseo-integration’ and helps to provide the required stability for the implants. But if you are allergic to titanium, metal-free tooth coloured ceramic implant posts is the material of choice. Ultimately, the essence of implants is the synthetic replacement of your tooth root and crown.

Is it painful to get dental implants?

No………The dental implants are placed into your jaw bone under local anaesthesia. So the procedure of the implant screw placement is painless. Some of you can experience a mild discomfort after the effect of the anaesthesia wears off. Your dentist will give you the post operative care instructions. You will have to take some meds for the discomfort.

Are dental implants worth the money?

Getting a dental implant is like a one time investment. Although dental implants will seem expensive initially, they are worth the money in the long run. A well planned Implant will last you a life time. Unlike the removable dentures or the fixed bridges, you don’t have to replace the implant prosthesis often.

Are implants permanent?

Dental implants have come a long way and a well done implant has a success rate of upto 98%. Recent developments in the field of dentistry, especially Implants has made this the treatment of choice for tooth replacements. Implants are also the prosthesis of choice for single tooth replacements and immediate tooth replacements. An implant screw once placed in your jaw bone undergoes ‘Osseointegration’. This fusion of the implant screw with the bone is stable.

Can I get dental implants?

Not all patients are good candidates for an implant. Your dentist will evaluate you by doing a series of x-rays and bone scans to check the health of the bone and gums for implants. If you have good healthy bone then your dentist will plan further to place an implant.

What is the alternative to dental implants?

You may need only a single tooth replacement or multiple teeth replacement. Dental Implants serve well to in either of the case. Since the quality of your bone and gums is the main criteria to place an implant, you will have to undergo some tests and scans, to qualify for an Implant. If your dentist/implantologist feels that you are not a good candidate for an implant, he can suggest a fixed bridge or a removable denture.

Can an implant fall out?

Your dentist/implantologist will place a Dental implant post in healthy bone. Once the implant undergoes ‘osseointegration’ ( fusion with the surrounding bone ) it remains firm in your bone. After placing the implant, your dentist will guide you on the care and precautions that you have to follow. These protocols include good brushing and flossing to maintain your gum health. You have to also avoid smoking to prevent implant failure. Poor gum health can lead to infections (Read Peri-implantitis ) which can make your implant post loose.

Is titanium harmful to the body?

Titanium has been used for more than 50 years for dental implants, knee replacement and hip replacement and has proven to be a safe, durable and effective solution. However, there can be a very rare case of titanium allergy and subsequent implant rejection. You can experience some mild side effects with your dental implants, such as

  • Gum infection at the implant site
  • Nerve damage if the implant is closer a nerve
  • Sinus problems/ allergic reactions/ headaches

Who cannot get Dental Implants?

Dental implants is a contra-indication in individuals with some medical conditions like

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Chemotherapy/radiotherapy in the head and neck area.
  • Young individuals whose bone is still developing are not candidates for an implant.
  • Any medical condition that reduces your body immunity.

 

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