What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws which are equivalent of the root of your teeth. They fix the tooth with the jawbone. They can be used to replace one or several missing teeth.
What Are The advantages Of Implants?
- Closest alternative to natural teeth.
- Increased ability to chew your food.
- Better appearance.
- Enhanced self-confidence.
- Avoid further bone loss.
- Do not harm adjacent teeth.
- Can be cleaned like natural teeth.
- Do not move or click
- Do not slip while eating, talking or laughing, which can be embarrassing
Which option is better to replace missing teeth, Implants, bridges or dentures?
- Unlike other options for replacing teeth, Dental implants do not compromise the health of adjacent teeth in the long term. For preparing bridges, adjacent healthy teeth need to be cut down in order to place the bridge. Removable dentures clasp the adjacent tooth for stability which makes that tooth mobile in the long run.
- Out of all teeth replacement options, dental implants is the only option which preserves the bone.
- Implants have better long term prognosis than bridges or dentures. Therefore, in the long run investment towards dental implants is lesser than other options.
- Implants are more natural looking .
How successful are implants?
90-95 percent success rate has been reported over a period of 10 years for implants. Many implants last for over 40 years also. This is significantly better than the success rates for other methods of tooth replacement, such bridges and dentures. Success depends on various factors like health and habits of the individual. Dental implants are resistant to decay. However they are susceptible to gum disease. Diligent home care and regular check ups by dentist are vital to maintain health of dental implant. As everybody is different, it is difficult to predict exactly how long your implant will last. If an implant fails it is possible to replace it with another implant of a larger size.
What will happen if I choose not to replace my missing teeth?
Teeth are lost for various reasons, during our lifetime. Missing front teeth can result in a visible empty space affecting your looks and confidence and can also affect your speech. Losing teeth causes other teeth to shift in the empty space. If the back teeth are lost, the jawbone begins to shrink which changes the shape of your face and may cause you to look prematurely aged.
Are implants the right option for me?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth is a candidate for dental implants. However, there are certain conditions that may not allow implant placement, such as chronic uncontrolled diabetes, heavy smoking, bisphosphonate therapy and bone loss.
How long does it take to complete treatment?
The treatment time varies for three to six months. Most of the time is spent waiting for the implant to fuse with the bone which goes on below the gums without any feeling or awareness. Treatment time depends upon the initial amount of bone present. Complex cases may take more time to be finished.
Will it hurt?
No. With superior local anaesthesia techniques available the discomfort associated with getting implants is far less than expected. It is almost equal or less than having a tooth extracted. When we see patients for follow up visits the report that they were pleasantly surprised by how little discomfort they had. There may be a little discomfort and swelling for a short while after surgery which is easily manageable with pain medications.
You can return to work and your daily activities the next day. Patients are comfortable between appointments.
Can dental implants help me if I wear dentures?
Definitely, in fact implants are most frequently requested by denture wearers only. Dental implants can help provide retention and support to removable dentures. Or the dentures can also be fixed in place with the help of implants, only the dentist can remove this from mouth.
What is the right time to get implants done?
Ideally as soon as you get your tooth extracted. Sometimes it is possible to place an implant immediately after extraction too. After a tooth is removed, the bone starts shrinking. Good amount of bone is required for implant placement. In cases where there is a lot of bone resorption, bone graft is required which increases the total cost of the procedure.
Will I be without my teeth?
After placement of implant, temporary dentures or bridges can be worn over implants till they fuse with bone.
What is the cost of dental implants?
The cost of implants depend upon the following factors:
- The quality and amount of bone. If bone is deficient, bone grafting may be required which increases the cost of treatment.
- The number of teeth which need to be replaced.
- If the teeth are replaced by single crowns, fixed bridges or dentures stabilised by implants.
What are the complications/ risk asssociated with implants?
Dental implants are one of the safest medical procedures. However, as with any surgery certain complications can occur rarely.
- Bone loss is one of the most common complication which happens if a missing tooth is left untreated for a long time or if tooth is lost due to gum diseases. This can be easily corrected by a bone grafting procedure.
- If teeth are required to be placed in the upper back tooth region, sometimes a sinus lift may be required because of thinning of the sinus floor.
- Sometimes the body of a patient with compromised immune system may reject the implant. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss your complete medical history with your dentist before getting an implant done.
- Infection can occur due to poor aftercare and oral hygiene. This can delay the healing process. It is therefore necessary to follow proper care instructions and avoid smoking and alcohol.
How do I care for my implants?
- Implant care depends upon the prosthesis used to replace teeth. Single implant supported crowns are cleaned exactly like natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing. People with bridges or overdentuures require special brushes to clean beneath them Regular half yearly visits to the dentist are recommended.