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Things You Must Know Before Getting Dental Implants

Rita Putatunda May 10, 2019
Dental implants are a means of replacing natural teeth that may have been lost due to various reasons. Learn about some important pointers to be considered prior to this dental procedure.
Tooth loss is common and can occur due to many reasons like tooth decay, failure of a root canal procedure, gum disease or periodontitis, accidental breakage or too much wear and tear. If you lose permanent teeth, apart from the aesthetic aspects, it can affect your health, as you may not be able to eat many of the nutritious foods essential for good health.

What Exactly are Dental Implants

As a matter of fact, the development of dental implants is one the most revolutionary advances in the dentistry field in the last fifty years. It is basically, an artificial root that is made of a light and yet tough metal, like titanium, which is implanted into the jawbone in place of the root of the missing tooth.
Next, an extension or abutment, is fixed to the dental implant. And, finally, an artificial replacement tooth is fixed to the implant. Thus, the implant serves as an anchor for holding the replacement tooth.
In case, there are a number of missing teeth, several implants can be fixed, thus providing support for a whole arch of the teeth. Generally, the procedure can be done by using a local anesthetic, with the individual awake during the process.

Who can have Them

Dental implants may be the right option, if an adult is generally healthy, with healthy gums, and there is enough strong bone in the jaw, which is important for holding the implant. In case the development of the jawbone is not normal or if it has shrunk, it will be built up by using a bone graft, which is a method of adding new bone to the jawbone.
Here are some of the conditions that can determine, if implants are a right option for you:
  • In case of the loss of one or more teeth
  • Have a healthy and strong jawbone for securing the implants
  • The oral tissues are healthy
  • Don't have health conditions that may impair bone healing
  • Have the will of committing a number of months for the whole procedure
Another important factor is the cost, since this procedure is expensive, and is generally not covered by insurance. However, do shop around, for the cost can differ fairly substantially.

How is the Procedure done

First of all, dental x-rays and several tests of the teeth and gums are carried out to determine, if dental implants are the right option for you. Then the gum in the area, where the implant will be inserted, is cut and pushed aside, after which, a hole is drilled into the jawbone.
The implant is then fitted snugly into this hole, and the gum is placed back over it with the help of stitches. In case, there is not enough bone to hold the implant, the dentist will either perform a bone graft or use smaller implants.
After the implant is inserted, it is allowed to integrate with the bone in the area and heal, which can take around six weeks to six months. The rough surface of the implant acts as an anchor, on which, the bone tissue grows.
While this healing procedure is going on, either temporary teeth, or bridges, are given to the patient, or they can continue using their dentures. However, ensure that you do not to put any pressure on the implant while it is healing.
Once the operated area is completely healed, the gum on the implant is cut and lifted once again, in order to fix a post to the implant, along with a temporary crown. It takes about 4-6 weeks for the surrounding gum tissue to mature. Once that is accomplished, the permanent replacement tooth will be fixed to the dental implant.

Taking Care of the Implants

Since implants are fixed inside the jawbone, the replacement teeth that are fixed to the implants, appear and function exactly like the natural teeth. Hence, they too, need to be cleaned and flossed, just as your natural teeth.
You will be shown the correct way to clean your implants by your dentist. Plus, periodic checkups will be necessary, so that, your dentist can ensure that the implants haven't loosened and the bite is correct.