Missing teeth can cause you to lose confidence, feel self-conscious and affect your health. Dental implants are the best solution for missing teeth because they provide a permanent fixture that looks natural in every way possible; not even astute enough people will notice it’s not part of one’s mouth! They also last much longer than other restorative dental treatments, which need replacing every few years due to their instability.
Let’s try to understand dental implants better.
- What Are Dental Implants?
- Signs You Need a Dental Implant.
- Can Dental Implants Last a Lifetime?
- Who Should Not Get a Dental Implant?
- The Benefits of Dental Implants.
- What to Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure?
- When Would You Need a Bone Grafting Procedure Before Dental Implants?
- Possible Complications with Dental Implants.
- Factors that Affect Implant Failure
- How to Take Care of your Dental Implants
- Who Performs Dental Implant procedures?
- Alternatives to Dental Implants
- Cost of Dental Implants.
- Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?
- Final Thoughts
What Are Dental Implants?
An implant is a surgical procedure that replaces real tooth roots with metal posts or titanium screws and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that mimic natural teeth in terms of form and function. Dental implants are a more permanent solution and provide a welcome alternative to dentures and bridgework that don’t fit well or a solution when the adequacy of natural teeth does not allow building dentures or bridgework tooth replacements.
Signs You Need a Dental Implant.
There may be one or more missing natural teeth in your mouth.
You have a severely cracked or broken tooth that cannot be saved.
Your denture or your partials are loose.
The jaw area is exhibiting abnormal bone loss.
Without roots to stimulate growth, missing teeth can cause the jaw bone structure to deteriorate. A dental implant replaces the root of a lost tooth. Osseointegration spontaneously bonds titanium and zirconium to the bone, preventing jaw bone loss and reducing mouth regression.
Can Dental Implants Last a Lifetime?
Yes, dental implants last a lifetime if properly maintained. Due to their longevity, dental implants are a popular treatment choice for patients missing teeth or undergoing tooth extraction.
Who Should Not Get a Dental Implant?
The body grows over the surface of the implant and fuses with it after it is implanted in your jawbone. In addition, the gum tissue surrounding the implants must also heal, but this is an expected process. Anyone who does not experience a normal healing process cannot get implants.
Patients using bisphosphonates, such as alendronic acid, are the most likely to have this.
The medication’s high levels in the bloodstream impair the normal bone repair and healing phase. Those taking intravenous bisphosphonates should avoid dental implants.
A patient’s bone healing process may also be hampered by prior radiotherapy to the head, neck, or throat. The x-rays used in radiation for the previous tumour can decrease the bone’s capacity to mend. Dental implants would be contraindicated in this case.
In some instances, implants cannot be placed due to difficulty accessing tough portions of the mouth, mainly towards the back of the mouth.
Some folks can’t open their lips wide enough to insert the implant safely.
The Benefits of Dental Implants.
What to Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure?
After the initial consultation visit, the dental implant treatment plan is created by a team of specialists in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team provides coordinated treatment based on your implant choice.
Then the tooth root implant, a titanium post, is inserted into the bone socket of the lost tooth. The jawbone heals around the metal post, securing it in the jaw. The healing period is six to twelve weeks.
To securely support the new tooth, an abutment is added to the implant once it has connected to the jawbone. The dentist takes impressions of your teeth and builds a bite model for the new tooth. The abutment is then crowned. A removable denture can be attached to an implant instead of one or more separate crowns.
When Would You Need a Bone Grafting Procedure Before Dental Implants?
Bone grafting may be required if your jawbone is either too thin or too soft for dental implant surgery. Because the intense chewing action of your mouth imposes a tremendous strain on your bones, the procedure is likely to fail. A bone graft might strengthen the implant’s base.
A jawbone can be rebuilt using a variety of bone graft materials. A natural bone graft from another part of your body or a synthetic bone graft like bone replacement material can help support new bone growth. Consult your dentist to discuss what is the best solution for you.
To maintain a dental implant, the transplanted bone must generate new bone. It is possible to have minimal bone grafting done simultaneously with the implant operation.
Possible Complications with Dental Implants.
While swelling and pain are frequent side effects of surgery, keep a lookout for these:
Implant site infection
An infection can develop after surgery. Autoimmune diseases, smoking, and poor oral hygiene are all risk factors.
Sometimes after an initial tooth replacement, a dental implant can micro-move due to a lack of stability.
Artificial teeth are usually attached to implants when the jawbone has adequately integrated with them. Occasionally, a surgeon will replace a tooth immediately after implantation.
Allergies to titanium alloy, a metal in some dental implants, may cause reactions. An allergy causes swelling, loss of taste, and even tingling.
Disobeying your doctor’s orders
Your actions and habits matter. To reduce the chance of problems, you must follow your surgeon’s post-surgery instructions. You may be told to eat soft meals while the implant site heals and avoid hard confectionery.
Long-term failures include:
- Nerve damage. Affected areas include the tongue, lips, gums, and face.
- Foreign body rejection is rare but possible. Pain, swelling, fever, and chills are signs of implant rejection.
- An upper jaw dental implant may extend into the sinus cavity.
- An injury to a dental implant’s surrounding tissue may cause it to fail.
Factors that Affect Implant Failure
Periodontal Disease: Dental implant surgery requires healthy gums, and active gum disease precludes this operation. Gum disease causes gum and jaw bone deterioration. Untreated infection near the implant could cause failure.
Tobacco use: Because smoking inhibits blood flow to the gums, it can cause dental implant failure. Several studies demonstrate that smokers have a 20% failure rate for dental implants.
Bone disease: If bone density declines and becomes weak, increasing the chance of breakage. Rare diseases and advanced gum disease can lead to bone loss in the mouth. A successful operation requires enough bone to sustain the implant.
Medical conditions: Dental implant failure is possible if you have autoimmune diseases or disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, which slow down the body’s healing process. The implant must fuse or integrate with your jaw bone for osseointegration to occur. Medications can potentially cause dental implant failure. So be sure to tell your oral surgeon about any current medications.
Poor oral hygiene: The ability to maintain proper oral hygiene after a dental implant also matters.
How to Take Care of your Dental Implants
Who Performs Dental Implant procedures?
Understanding these designations will help anyone seeking dental implant procedures make the best choice regarding who should do the surgery.
Dentists are likely to determine the need for dental implant installation. General dentists are increasingly recommending dental implants over partial or complete dentures.
Cosmetic dentists are trained to improve the appearance of a person’s smile; therefore, they are likely to prescribe dental implants, which seem more natural than alternative tooth replacement choices.
Most dentists are trained to insert dental implants and may be able to do it without a third party. When it comes to dental implant installation, dentists may not be as skilled as oral surgeons or periodontists.
Oral surgeons are the safest route for dental implant insertion due to their specialization. Those who are nervous about the procedure can rest assured that they are in good hands with an oral surgeon.
As opposed to dentists and periodontists, oral surgeons are more trained in bone grafting procedures.
However, an oral surgeon is not always required because the procedure is straightforward. Many dentists are also oral surgeons. Discuss all alternatives with a dentist to determine if an oral surgeon is required for dental implant installation.
A dental implant is placed by inserting it into the gums and connecting it to the jawbone. So, periodontists, who specialize in tooth support structures, can often insert dental implants without any issues.
Because periodontists have more specific training in dental implant implantation, they may be required to help a dentist in some circumstances.
Alternatives to Dental Implants
Many people agree that dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement. Teeth-like dental implants prevent jaw bone breakdown. But everybody is different, and dental implants aren’t suitable for everyone. They may be medically contraindicated or simply disliked by the patient. If you need a tooth replacement, you should know your options. Consider some dental implant alternatives.
Full Mouth Dentures
Many people are familiar with dentures as a dental implant alternative. You typically think of complete dentures, which replace both the top and lower arches of teeth.
Dentures give the illusion of a whole set of straight teeth. Dentures allow you to eat more thoroughly than gums or severely broken teeth, but they don’t allow you to chew as well as dental implants or natural teeth; thus, some food restrictions may apply.
Partial dentures are utilized when you have some healthy teeth but need to replace multiple teeth. The artificial tooth is bonded to a plastic foundation that matches your gums’ colour. Metal clasps may be used to fasten this plastic to adjacent teeth. Partial dentures are easy to maintain and fix and offer easier speech and eating. Partial dentures are less stable than other replacement tooth solutions and require more regular repairs.
Bridges are cemented in place, so they feel and act like natural teeth, and you won’t have to worry about them coming loose. A dental bridge may be more comfortable than dentures.
Cost of Dental Implants.
First stage dental implant insertion cost starts at $2,500 to $5,000. Extra charges apply for the consultation visit, other dental procedures before the actual implant process, and the manufacture of implant-retained teeth.
Patients might be awake (local anaesthesia) or asleep (general anaesthesia – day surgery) for implant treatment. It is best to contact our experienced team to better understand the cost and actual dental implant procedure.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?
Currently, dental insurance does not cover dental implants. Depending on your insurance plan and the cause of tooth loss, you may be covered. Discuss your specific demands and how they relate to insurance with your dentist and insurance provider.