The need for teeth replacement is a common thing. Unfortunately, many people lose their natural teeth for tooth decay, injury, infection, and more. Losing a tooth can make a person insecure about their smiles, but luckily there are many solutions to fix this problem.
Dental implants are ideal for fixing the dental issue of replacing missing teeth. The most significant advantage of dental implants is that they look like other natural teeth and can support your oral health for years to come.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a screw-like metal appliance mostly made of titanium. It is ideal to be fixed either to the upper jaw bone or the lower one. There are three main elements of a dental implant –
- A bridge or full denture or prosthetic tooth or partial denture
- An artificial tooth that’s fixed to your jaw bone
- An abutment that is attached to the implant’s head and positioned above the gum line to create a platform for adding the prosthetic Dental implants, in most cases, is a stand-alone treatment and hence requires no alteration to other teeth in the surrounding.
Who can get dental implants?
Dental implant procedures are ideal for patients who have lost tooth or teeth because of an injury or periodontal disease. The perfect candidate must:
- have good oral health, including gum tissue
- have a sufficient bone density in the jaw to anchor the implant
- not have periodontal disease
To know more what to consider before getting dental implant, read our blog on it.
What are the types of dental implants
There are two main types of dental implants and procedures: endosteal and subperiosteal, and single-stage and two-stage. Both these options are natural-looking but are ideal for different reasons. Your dentist may tell you which implant type is suitable for your situation. However, learning about both these implant types and their procedures is essential.
An endosteal implant is a common type of implant preferred by most dentists. These implants are anchored into the jawbone to act like a tooth root and shaped like a small screw. Dentists prefer this type over the other because when a tooth is missing in the mouth, it may lead to bone loss and shift the neighbouring teeth. In addition, once endosteal implants are anchored into the empty tooth root, they can preserve the structure of the face and jawbone.
Subperiosteal implants are similar to endosteal implants in terms of looks, but they are fixed under the gum tissue or on the jawbone top instead of being anchored into the jawbone. This implant option is ideal for patients with a weak jawbone to support an implant well.
Dentists often ask their patients to undergo a bone augmentation to strengthen their jawbone to allow them to receive an endosteal. If a patient isn’t happy to receive a bone augmentation, they can go for a subperiosteal implant and get similar results.
As its name suggests, a single-stage dental implant needs just one surgical appointment. During the procedure, a longer implant will be placed into the jaw and gum to expose the top of the implant. Once the site heals, the connector and crown parts of the dental implant will be fixed onto the exposed implant.
The single-stage procedure is ideal for patients having bone problems or some special needs because this process is faster once the initial surgery is done.
The two-stage dental implant procedure requires more time than a single-stage as it involves at least two surgeries with healing time in between. At first, your dentist will surgically place the dental implant base into the jawbone and then stitch it up to promote healing. Once the healing is complete after a few months, minor surgery will be carried out to expose the implant base to attach the connector piece and implant crown.
Despite this process being invasive and complex, it offers long-term benefits. The time between the first and second surgery will allow the implant’s base to fuse to the jawbone and prepare a strong base similar to a natural tooth root.
How long will it take to recover from the dental implants?
The time required for recovery depends from patient to patient. While there’s no fixed recovery time, some factors may affect the recovery period. These factors are:
- Whether bone crafting was carried out
- How many teeth were extracted and implanted
- What’s the health of the patient’s bones to adhere to the implants
Apart from these, a person’s lifestyle and individual tolerance also play a significant role in deciding the time required for recovering from a dental implant. For example, if a patient is a smoker and cuts down smoking to a few times a week or, even better, quit it entirely after the surgery, the recovery may be fast. However, if the patient continues to smoke regularly, the healing process may take a lot of time, mainly if grafting is performed.
For fast recovery after a dental implant, you should read our blog on The Do’s And Don’ts After A Dental Implant Procedure.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
If you aren’t sure whether or not you must undergo a dental implant, learn about the benefits they offer.
Implants improve oral health: Replacing a missing tooth is required to improve your smile and your overall oral health. Teeth play an essential role in promoting and strengthening the bone underneath. However, your bone health may be compromised if you have no teeth in a specific region in your mouth. Dental implants can improve the state of your jawbone as they serve as a tooth root system replacement. In addition, they offer much-needed support to the jawbone, thus reducing the chances of future bone loss.
Better Speech: Missing teeth may affect your ability to speak clearly. Some specific teeth are required to form certain words; if they are missing, you may experience speech impediment. Dental implants can solve this issue, allowing you to speak normally.
Eating Comfortably: Missing teeth may make it difficult for you to chew on certain types of food. Dental implants can restore your missing teeth and give you a complete set of teeth that will make it easy for you to chew, eat and digest all types of food.
Dental implants are one of the best tooth replacement methods offering multiple benefits. However, many people find it difficult to understand whether or not this treatment is ideal for them. Gaining more information on the implant will give you a better idea of whether they suit you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dental implants are almost permanent because they are connected directly to the jawbone. They bond with the surrounding bone tissue over time through osseointegration. Once osseointegration is complete, the implant material fuses with the surrounding bone. All this makes an implant a sturdy artificial tooth root that can hold a prosthetic tooth for years. While the implant is made to be permanent, the crown attached may require replacement due to wear and tear. About 50 to 80 percent of people require crown replacement in 15 to 20 years.
For a simple dental implant for a person having good bones with no need for soft tissue surgery, the pain level will be moderate for the first 24 to 48 hours. This means over-the-counter medications can quickly subside the pain and discomfort that may erupt after the anaesthesia wears out. Patients can expect mild pain and tenderness around the surgery site for up to 7 days. However, this is normal and should not bother your daily routine. In most cases, patients return to routine within three days of the surgery. The pain intensity with dental implants is much lesser than that with a simple tooth extraction.
Dental implants are metal posts designed to be placed into the jawbone surgically. They are fixed beneath your gums, allowing easy mounting of replacement teeth once put. Since implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide great support to your artificial teeth. Even if dentures and bridges are mounted on implants, they won’t slip or shift and allow comfortable eating and speaking. The secure fit offered by implants makes them ideal for holding dentures, bridges, and even individual crowns. Anyone with missing teeth can go for dental implants, provided they have healthy gums and sufficient bone to support them.
1. Endosteal Implants – With these implants, the tooth roots are replaced by titanium or ceramic screws, cylinders, or blades. The implant is surgically drilled into the jawbone to allow it to hold the artificial teeth perfectly in place.
2. Subperiosteal Implants – These dental implants are fixed into the jaw bone, but the metal post is left uncovered to hold the restoration. Subperiosteal Implants are ideal for use in single-stage treatment.
3. Zygomatic implants – These implants are different from conventional dental implants because they are made to be anchored into the cheekbone and not the upper jaw. They are ideal for patients with inadequate maxillary bone quality or quantity but demand regular dental implants.
If you are going for a single tooth implant, you may expect to pay anywhere between $3,000 to $6,500. At the same time, an implant-supported bridge costs approximately $6,700 – $20,500. This is the cost for two implants spread across three or four teeth. Remember, the cost of implants varies depending on the number and location required to support the dental bridges. The price for implant-retained dentures can start from $4,900; for complete dentures, you may have to pay anything between $15,000 to $18,000.