Dental implants refer to replacing the root of the tooth, with an artificial one. These work as the foundation for an artificial tooth to be placed, which could either be fixed or removable. The purpose behind dental implants is to have a damaged or infected tooth replaced with a new one, which would match one’s natural teeth.
Who can get dental implants? What is the procedure for dental implants?
Generally, any healthy person who could withstand an oral surgery or a tooth extraction, is considered fit for a dental implant. One of the main requisites of undergoing a dental implant is to have enough jawbones and strong gums, which would be able to support the foundation. A smoker, a diabetic patient, or patients with certain disorders would have to consult their dentist to check if they are a fit for the process.
Talking about the process, the first step is 3-D imagery. The dentist scans the oral condition to check which type of an implant would suit the patient. Followed by that, an appointment is set for the day of the surgery. If you want to find out whether an implant hurts or not, relax! You would be sedated before the surgery. Most of the patients claim that an implant hurts even lesser than a tooth extract and that the pain is mild. This is in turn followed by meticulous post treatment care, just like any other dental surgery.
What are the types of dental implants?
There are two most common types of dental implants. The first and most common type is endosteal implants. They are directly implanted into the jawbone of the patient. Followed by that, “a second surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant. Finally, an artificial tooth (or teeth) is attached to the post-individually, or grouped on a bridge or denture.”
Subperiosteal implant, on the other hand, is a little less common. In this, the implantation is placed under the gum, but on top of the jawbone. Such an implant is resorted to when the patient does not have enough jawbone to support the implant. In such cases, techniques like bone augmentation, sinus lift, and ridge expansion could also be implemented.
Can I choose my implant?
In most cases, your dentist would most likely suggest the type of dental implant that you should get. However, you do get to choose the material that you want in your implant.
A zirconia implant is of ceramic material and is preferred by many patients for its metal-free nature. These however come in one piece, and thus, give the dentist less control over the surgery. This fuse well with the bone and the white color on top of the ceramic makes the tooth look completely natural and aesthetic.
A titanium implant, on the other hand, is known for its strength. These implants have been in the market for a much longer time than zirconia implants, and are known to last for decades. Also, these come in two pieces, meaning that the dentist can adjust the crown and the abutment, for a perfect fit for the implant. However, these implants are known to show a visible gray line along the ridges, due to the nickel content in it. Although many patients choose zirconia implants over titanium implants for the aesthetic and metal-free nature, dentists recommend titanium implants for their known effectiveness and durability.
Why should I choose to have an implant?
Getting an implant upon having a damaged tooth, has the following advantages:
- Improved speech
- Better oral comfort
- Better appearance
- Comfort in eating and chewing
Now that you know what a dental implant is all about, do not hesitate if you are thinking of getting one. Surely consult a dentist before you choose to have it; but in case you have been in a dilemma, just know that there are no risks associated with it, if you can take proper care of yourself for the first few weeks post the surgery!