Your Perfect Guide to Dental Implants

What is a dental implant? A dental implant is a tooth shaped root device constructed out of titanium. Dental implants are used in spaces where actual teeth are missing. The titanium is a metal that is readily acceptable by the human body; hence it makes the process of osseointegrates successful. Osseointegrates is the process by which the dental implants will fuse in with the bone present in the gum. Titanium dental implants are more readily accepted by the bone in the gum, than any other metal used. Moreover, titanium dental implants feel and look natural as well, with a slight difference felt while chewing. Dental implants are also used to support numerous other dental procedures temporarily. These include dentures, crowns and implant supported bridges.

Composition of a dental implant

Normally dental implants are composed out of pure titanium that range from grade 1 to grade 4. These grades show the amount of iron and carbon present in the dental implant along with titanium. Normally, the lesser these two substances are, the better are purer the dental implant is. Grade 4 is typically the most widely used one, while now more recently grade 5 dental implants are also present in the market. The dental implants may also be sprayed with substances in certain cases to increase their surface area and to increase the potential of osseointegrates. These substances include anodizing, sand blasting, plasma spraying and etching.

Healing duration

The healing duration of dental implants is a much debatable topic. Most commonly, the average healing time of a dental implant before any further dental procedure is carried out ranges from 2 to 6 months. Now this time span varies a lot, due to an individual’s capability of healing over time. Conventional dental implants can even take up to 18 months to heal, so one cannot state a specific healing duration for this particular dental procedure.

Success rate of dental implants

dental implant success rates

Dental implants are one of the most secure and high success rate dental procedures. However, it mostly depends on the skillfulness and accuracy of the dentist and it also depends on the area of the jaw in which the dental implant is placed since different areas and different bones have varying acceptability rates. However, there is a common notion, that conventional dental implants have a success rate of 95%-98% and can last a life time!

Pros of dental implants

There are many advantages to getting dental implants. Not only is this procedure a normal, everyday procedure with minimal failure potential. It also provides numerous other advantages such as enhanced comfort and chewing/eating. It also increases the appearance and smile, especially if a teeth in the front was missing, hence increasing your self-esteem and your ability to smile more openly in public. Furthermore, it enhances the patient’s speech as well. Since dental implants use titanium which is rather a strong, long lasting metal, dental implants are durable in nature. Lastly dental implants provide more convenience than dentures, since dentures have to be removed every time you need to eat which can be messy, unhygienic and unattractive in a public place. Dental implants need not to be removed ever and are more hygienic than dentures since they can be brushed like normal teeth.

Who can get a dental implant?

Normally this dental procedure can sustain on anyone who has healthy gums and teeth and do not suffer from any oral diseases in particular. Furthermore, if the bone in your gums is strong enough to withhold and accept the titanium shaped tooth, there should be no problem in undergoing this particular dental procedure. However, if the patient is a heavy smoker or if suffering from any particular oral disease then he or she has to undergo tests and scans and the practitioners need to evaluate your oral condition. Patients already suffering from diseases related to the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas need to undergo strict evaluation before proceeding with any dental procedures.

The procedure

The procedure of getting a dental implant is rather simple, meaning that there is no complication involved in this particular process. Firstly individualized plans are created by the professional team catering to the patient’s particular dental needs. The professional team briefs you on the entire process and helps you in every way during the entire procedure. Starting the procedure, firstly the titanium tooth shaped device is placed into the missing tooth’s bone socket. Once the tooth is placed and attached to the bone, the healing procedure begins. The healing time as mentioned above various from 6 weeks to as much as 18 weeks, during which the jaw bone attaches and grows around the dental implant. After this healing process, an abutment which is a small connector is attached to the bone, to keep the titanium plant intact strongly. After this, impressions of your teeth are taken by the doctor and your new tooth is designed. This tooth is known as the crown. This crown is later on attached to the abutment. Normally, the crown designed is shaped precisely according to your teeth and your teeth color is matched as well. Patients who have undergone this procedure are usually given a local anesthetic to numb the pain which is normally said to be less than that of a normal tooth extraction. After the procedure of the dental implantation is complete in order to cater to the mild soreness of the gum, painkillers such as Tylenol are given to the patients. They are also advised to consumer liquids or soft foods over the next two, three days.

After-care

After the dental implantation procedure is complete, regular checkups are necessary to secure and prevent any problem that might be present. Your dental implants needs the same care as your regular teeth, they require normal brushing and flossing and monthly visit to your local dentist!

Insurance

Presently, your medical insurance does not cover dental implants. However, this may highly depend on the nature of your tooth loss in the first place. If your tooth was lost during an accident, then it is possible for medical insurance to cover for it.

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