Dental Implants

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What is an Implant?

A dental implant is a metal post (made of titanium) surgically placed in the jawbone to replace the root portion of a missing tooth. An artificial tooth (crown) is then placed on to the implant giving the look of a real tooth.

Dental Implants provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures

Basis for Dental Implants

Titanium forms an intimate bond to the bone via a biologic process called osseointegration. The bond provides a stable support for artificial tooth (crown), a bridge or denture to be mounted on to the implant.

Reasons for dental implants

.Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
.Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.

Frequently asked questions

To receive implants, one needs to be in good general health (full disclosure of any underlying medical condition or drug regimen is necessary). There is need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.

The practice of modern dental implants has been in existence for more than 40 years. Typically made of titanium, they are safe and readily accepted by the body (biocompatible). Your natural bone locks the implant into place by fusing, or attaching itself, to the implant.

An implant is placed by first making an incision on the gum tissue and reflecting a flap at the site of missing tooth. A preparation is made in the bone using various sized drills, after which the implant is screwed into the bone. Bone grafting may be necessary to ensure successful integration. The gum tissue is then stitched back. The procedure is a painless operation performed under local anesthesia. Long and complex cases or high degree of anxiety may require conscious sedation or general anesthesia.

More recently, the concept of flapless implant surgery has been introduced for the patients with sufficient gingival tissue and bone volume in the implant recipient site.

A healing period (average 3 months) is normally given after implant placement to allow integration with bone before the final restoration (crown) is done. During the healing period, temporary crowns/dentures may be used. There are isolated cases where the final crown is placed immediately following implant surgery.

Implant placement is largely successful. Like any surgery, it may pose minimal health risks. These are rare, though. Should they occur, they’re usually minor and easily treated. May include infection, injury to adjacent structures, sinus problems, numbness, drug reactions among others.

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