Dental implant are a biocompatible & biofuntional device that replaces tooth roots with screw like posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. Dental implant is a welcome alternative to dentures or dental bridges and can offer an option when a lack of natural teeth doesn’t allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements. The major benefit of implants is solid support for your new teeth, a process that requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant. Because this bone healing requires time, the process can take many months.
Parts of a Dental Implant:
Dental implants may be right for you if you:
Have one or more missing teeth.
Have Multiple missing teeth in the same location
Have Multiple missing teeth throughout the arch
Have a broken tooth – extraction and replacement
Have a jawbone that's reached full growth
Have adequate bone to secure the implants or are able to have a bone graft
Have healthy oral tissues
Don't have health conditions that will affect bone healing
Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures and willing to pay a little extra for a better product.
Want to improve your speech
Want to avoid bone loss
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM DENTAL IMPLANT PROCEDURE?
Dental implants are performed as an outpatient procedure.Clinical evaluation to assess the suitability of the candidate for dental implant is a vital phase of treatment planning before implant surgery. Meticulous clinical assessment helps in determining the suitability of the potential site for implant placement.
Comprehensive dental exam. You may have dental X-rays taken, and have models made of your teeth and jaw.
Review of your medical history. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions and any medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have certain heart conditions or orthopaedic implants, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.
Treatment plan. Tailored to your situation, this plan takes into account factors such as how many teeth you need replaced and the condition of your jawbone and remaining teeth. Depending on the location of the implant and how many you need to have placed, it will determine how long of a session you’ll be in there for.
If you need to have teeth extracted before dental implants, your dentist may require multiple trips to remove the teeth, then installing the dental implants. Likewise, if you have to have a bone graft due to inadequate bone tissue, you won’t have dental implants placed that day. Your dentist will require the graft to heal first.
The implant surgery will require your dentist to cut into the gums. This allows him access to the jawbone. A dental implant looks similar to a screw and is screwed directly into the bone. Once it is firmly in the bone, your dentist will suture the gum closed.
Some dentists will offer a temporary denture, bridge or crown that can be worn the same day after implants are installed or after two weeks. These can be designed to work with the healing process. The healing phase can take between 3 to 8 months. The bone and the implant need to fuse together in a process called osseointegration.
Once the healing process has been completed, you are now ready to receive an abutment that attaches to the dental implant. While you might think this is where you will get your permanent teeth, you would be wrong. The soft tissue will need to heal once more before your dentist can make a mold of your teeth and jaw to create the dental appliance, crown, bridge, or denture.
While many dentists claim that dental implants are fast, have little discomfort, and offer a natural-looking solution to missing teeth, the recovery time or process isn’t discussed as often. Every patient is different and will recover at different times. But getting dental implants isn’t typically something that happens overnight. You will have to start with a consultation, determine if you are the right candidate. You may have to have additional procedure steps to accept the dental implant, such as a bone graft. But one thing is the same for every patient, it is essential to healing correctly, and following your dentist’s guide for aftercare and how long it will take is necessary.
Speak with your dentist before your surgery. He or she should be able to answer all your questions regarding what to expect as well as aftercare and your specific healing timeline.
Choosingimplant supported artificial teeth:
You and your dentist can choose artificial teeth that are removable, fixed or a combination of both:
Removable. This type is similar to a conventional removable denture and can be a partial or full denture. It contains artificial white teeth surrounded by pink plastic gum. It's mounted on a metal frame that's attached to the implant abutment, and it snaps securely into place. It can be easily removed for repair or daily cleaning.
Fixed. In this type, an artificial tooth is permanently screwed or cemented onto an individual implant abutment. You can't remove the tooth for cleaning or during sleep. Most of the time, each crown is attached to its own dental implant. However, because implants are exceptionally strong, several teeth can be replaced supported by a few implants if they're bridged together
After completion of procedure you may experience typical discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery, such as:
· Swelling of your gums and face
· Pain at the implant site
· Minor bleeding
You may need pain medications or antibiotics after dental implant surgery.After surgery, you may need to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals. Typically, your dentist will use stitches that dissolve on their own. If your stitches aren't self-dissolving, your doctor removes them.
Dental implants are mostly successful. Sometimes, however, the bone fails to fuse sufficiently to the metal implant. Smoking, for example, may contribute to implant failure and complications.
If the bone fails to fuse sufficiently, the implant is removed, the bone is cleaned up, and you can try the procedure again in about three months.
Loose implant crowns. Abutments are torqued into place and occasionally they can get loose. In this case the abutment can be tightened down and instantly your crown will stabilise. The other scenario for dental implant loosening is when the implant has failed or attachment screw is broken.
You can help your dental work and remaining natural teeth last longer if you:
Maintain good oral hygiene. Just as with your natural teeth, keep implants, artificial teeth and gums clean. Specially designed brushes, such as an interdental brush that slides between teeth, can help clean the nooks and crannies around teeth, gums and metal posts.
Visit your dentist regularly. Schedule dental check-ups to ensure the health and proper functioning of your implants and follow the advice for professional cleanings.
Avoid habits which are damaging. Don't chew hard items, such as ice and hard candy, which can break your crowns or your natural teeth. Avoid tooth-staining tobacco and caffeine products. Get treatment if you grind your teeth.
Dr.Anthony’s Dental Clinic,Malawi.