When a person loses a tooth, they are faced with few options. They can either have the missing teeth replaced by bridgework or dentures; which may be uncomfortable and potentially difficult to clean as well as time-consuming to maintain in terms of dental care appointments.
Alternatively, they could opt for a dental implant. Dental implants are surgically inserted into their jawbone where it will fuse over the span of several months before becoming fully integrated with natural bone tissue.
Dental implants offer lasting solutions without any need for invasive surgery while also helping patients feel confident about themselves again.
The dental implant is an artificial tooth root that serves as a replacement for the missing one. The process of fusion between these “artificial tooth roots” and your jawbone is called osseointegration.
This procedure mimics nature’s way because it stands on its own without having any effect on nearby teeth or affecting stability in comparison with natural teeth which are fused together by the gum tissue.
Dental implants are made of titanium, which integrates with bone and is not recognized as a foreign object. As science has improved over time, the success rate for implant placement has increased to 98%.
Who are the Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are not for just anyone. In order to be a good candidate, you also need to have adequate bone in your jaw and healthy gum tissue free of periodontal disease.
What are the Different Types of Dental Implants?
There are two types of dental implants:
Endosteal implants are the most commonly used type of implant. The various types include screws, cylinders or blades surgically placed into your jawbone and each will hold one or more prosthetic teeth for you to use. This is a great option if you have bridges or removable dentures that need replacing.
Subperiosteal dental implants are placed on top of the jaw with posts protruding through gum to hold prosthesis. This type is for patients who cannot wear conventional dentures and have minimal bone height, which makes it the perfect choice in similar scenarios.
What are the Potential Complications and Risks of Dental Implants?
With any surgery, there are always some risks and potential complications to the patient or to the success of a dental implant. Careful planning is important because if you’re not healthy enough for oral surgery then it could lead to recovery issues that would ultimately impact your health in an adverse way.
For example, one risk with anything related to anesthesia is whether they have heart problems which can affect how well their body responds during a procedure like this where general anaesthesia may be necessary.
Just like any oral procedure, infections, allergies, existing medical conditions, bleeding disorders, and medications have to be reviewed carefully prior to proceeding with the dental implant procedure. The good news is that the success of dental implant procedures is quite high.
Dental implant failures can come in the form of:
- Dental implant fracture
- Dental implant overloading
- Damage to the surrounding areas (blood vessels, teeth, nerves, etc.)
- Poor bone quantity/quality
- Poor positioning of the dental implant
Careful planning is crucial to avoid any of the problems mentioned above. When needed, another attempt can be done to replace a failed dental implant provided the requisite time for healing has already taken place.
Once the implant has integrated into the jawbone fully, the next phase would be the placement of the implant crown that will support the implant. This is typically performed by a general dentist or a prosthodontist. The latter is a dental specialist that focuses on tooth replacement.