WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants are artificial fixtures mimicking our natural roots, over which an artificial crown can be restored. It is best replacement option for replacing a single missing tooth, teeth or a complete set of teeth in either arches as it independently restores form, function as well as aesthetics.
HOW LONG WILL IMPLANTS LAST ?
Dental implant treatment is proposed with the idea to restore the tooth/ teeth to last a lifetime as titanium adapts beautifully with our natural bone forming a single unit. Implant aftercare plays an important role in the success of the implant, such as, maintenance of good oral hygiene, review check up once in six months to help in monitoring and refrainment from habits such as smoking.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A DENTAL IMPLANT OVER THE CONVENTIONAL DENTURE/ BRIDGE REPLACEMENT?
The benefits of implants can be categorized into two major aspects :
- Function: As each of our natural tooth is a single unit, implants help in replacing our missing teeth each as a single unit. Advantage being better chewing efficiency, maintenance of our oral health. The main advantage being unlike conventional bridges it does not require to salvage any tooth structure of the adjacent teeth, therefore it’s success is not dependent on the health of the adjacent teeth.
- AESTHETICS : Precision and pre-planning play a major role in improving the aesthetics. The crowns given over the implant can mimick the natural phenomena of the teeth coming out of our gums with the maintenance of the interdental space that is lost when replacing with the bridge.
IS THE PLACEMENT OF IMPLANTS PAINFUL? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Placement of implants can be painless procedure with proper planning in advance. Local anesthesia is usually administered to numb the surgical area that will help keep the process painless. Post- operative course of medications and rest can help bring you back to your daily routine in a couple of days. In case of multiple implants, patient is advised to undergo the procedure under conscious sedation, a process different from general anesthesia, where an anesthetist will administer a sedative dose in your vein, that will keep you conscious to commands but completely unaware of the ongoing procedure.
Placement of implants can take about 20 minutes upto three hours depending on the number of implants and difficulty of surgery. Post the implant placement, a minimum waiting period of 3-6 monthsis advised to receive a crown ( an individualized decision that varies from each patient ).
WHAT ARE IMMEDIATE IMPLANTS ?
This treatment involves placement of implants in the tooth socket immediately post extraction. The possibility of this process is dependent on the appropriate length and width of available bone as well as absence of any infection.
WILL YOU REMAIN WITHOUT A TOOTH AFTER IMPLANT PLACEMENT ?
Loss of anterior tooth/teeth especially plays a major role in aesthetics and refrainment from social life. This can be overcome by placement of a temporary tooth immediately after placement of implants. It is important to understand that the temporary tooth is an independent process and does not require the process of loading the implant. Hence, it ensures complete implant-bone formation (osseo-intergration) as well as maintenance of aesthetics until the placement of a permanent tooth.
INSUFFICIENT BONE, CAN ONE STILL GET IMPLANTS ? WILL BONE GRAFTS & MEMBRANES HELP ?
Yes, with the help of materials such as bone graft and membrane, placement of implants is possible and successful. Grafts contain vital cells that help in bone growth and in addition stabilizes the blood clot performing it’s action. Membrane is a material that acts as a barrier to prevent soft tissue cells(gum cells) to enter the surgical area and prevent the bone regeneration process. In large and small defects where there is insufficient natural bone, grafts from other sources can be placed to help in generation of new bone. These grafts and membrane are chosen appropriately for each defect.