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Implants

Untill recently, and even now people think that the 'bridge' or a fixed partial denture is the best option for replacement of lost natural teeth.A bridge provides a false tooth which is supported by the adjacent healthy teeth and is placed on the gum tissue.The adjacent healthy teeth have to be reduced all around to recieve the cap hence this is a non-conservative approach.More so ,since the false tooth is placed on the gums ,the bone underneath is not being used.

Implants on the other hand is an artificial root which takes over the function of a real root and is placed inside the bone. this acts like natural tooth and strethens the supporting bone.

Implants are made out of medically pure titanium which is biocompatible.The bone grows around these implants and after the implants become firm in the bone,teeth can be built on top of them.

There are lot of possibilities as to what can be built on the top of Implants.

The surgical procedure of dental implants is a minor one taking anything between half an hour to couple of hours. The complete treatment takes about 4-8 months.During the healing phase, the patient is almost always provided with temporary prosthesis.

Any Patient who has enough healthy jaw bone ,whose general health is good and who is willing to commit to conscentious oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups ,is a good candidate for implants.Those patients with less bone ,have no cause to disheartened as modern bone augmentation procedures will come to their rescue prior to implant placement in this,the bone is increased by means of bone grafts natural or artificial as the case may be .Once the grafted bone fuses with the natural bone,Implants can be placed.

FAQ

Do dental implants hurt?

Placing dental implants is a surgical procedure, so there is definitely some mild discomfort after the surgical phase. After the initial healing phase passes, there is nothing to be fearful of in so far as pain is concerned.

Do dental implants look and feel natural?

Dental implants can be made to look great. Patients with dental implants report that biting and chewing feel perfectly natural.

How long does it take to get implants?

Placing an implant requires one surgical visit and several follow up visits to check the healing and remove the sutures. The purpose of the dental implant(s) is to replace missing teeth, so in addition to the surgical placement of the implants, the patient must wait 3 to 6 months while the bone heals and then another month or two for the final dental bridgework.

Can you be too old for dental implants?

You cannot be too old for dental implants. The issue is your health. As long as the patient is a candidate for elective surgery, they can have dental implants. A patient with medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, heart disease, severe hypertension etc., would not be an appropriate candidate for dental implants.

Can you be too young for dental implants?

Usually dental implants are done for patients whose jaw bones are fully formed, so that would be late teenage years.

Are there any medical conditions why a person couldn't have dental implants?

Medical conditions that would preclude the placement of dental implants would include people with problems healing, such as people with AIDS and people who are not candidates for elective surgery, such as people who have uncontrolled diabetes, severe high blood pressure or heart disease.

Can dental implants replace a single tooth?

Dental implants are a good way to replace a single missing tooth as long as the adjacent teeth are in good health and good alignment.

Can dental implants replace many teeth at the same time?

Dental implants are often used to replace several missing teeth when there aren't sufficient teeth for fixed or non-removable bridgework. In that case, one implant is generally placed for each missing tooth to be replaced.

If you already have removable bridge work or dentures, could they be replaced by dental implants.

Many patients who get dental implants do so because they are uncomfortable with the old removable bridgework that they had.

Why would I get a dental implant compared to a fixed bridge to replace a missing tooth?

Placing dental implants and then putting a cap on it is a great way to replace a missing tooth if you do not want to put caps on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, or if there aren't enough strong teeth to support a fixed bridge near the missing tooth. This is especially true if the adjacent teeth are perfectly healthy, straight, decay free-teeth and the patient would rather avoid capping them.

Are there any disadvantages to a dental implant compared to a more traditional fixed bridge?

The disadvantage of the implant is that two surgical procedures need to be done to place the implant and then place the supporting post in the implant so that a cap can be placed to replace the missing tooth. This takes several months. And the cost for a dental implant, plus the post and crown, is greater than a conventional fixed bridge. If the patient has perfectly good teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, the benefits of not having to cap those teeth may be worth the extra time and expense.

Are there cases when an implant is not the best way to replace a missing tooth?

If the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are crooked, decayed or already have big leaking fillings, and need to be capped anyway, it makes no sense to go through the time and expense of a dental implant and then have to cap the adjacent teeth anyway. Also, if there is not an adequate amount of jaw bone to hold the dental implant, bone grafting procedures may need to be done and the patient would need to evaluate the benefits of the implant approach versus the time and expense of the implants and bone graft.

Do implants always look as good as other tooth replacement methods?

There are times when dental conditions such as bone loss or gum recession may allow a dentist to use a dental implant to adequately replace a missing tooth but not restore the normal shape and contour of the gum tissue. In the back of the mouth, where it doesn't show, this may not matter. In the front of the mouth, it could result in a chewing success but an appearance failure. That is one reason why dental implants, as great as they are, are not a panacea for the replacement of all missing teeth.

 

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