Dental implants is a procedure that has changed dentistry for more than 20 years, evolving from scientific research and discovery through practical application. Generally, a dental implant is a replacement for the roots of a tooth. Once surgically placed, they are not visible as they are secured in the jawbone. Mainly, dental implants are used to secure crowns, bridgework or dentures by various means.
What are they made of?
Dental implants are usually made of titanium due to its lightweight. It is also strong and is bio-compatible, meaning it cannot be rejected by the body. Titanium and its alloys are the commonly used metals for dental implants and other bone implants such as orthopedic joint replacements. The special property of fusing to the bone is the biological basis for dental implants in titanium. Dental implants have the highest success rate compared to other implanted surgical devices. Besides replacing lost teeth, implants help maintain the shape and density of the jawbone.
How is it done?
A successful dental implant is carried out in three phases.
- First, your dentist will surgically place the implant into the jawbone. Your dentist will then recommend a diet of soft foods and soup during the healing process.
- During the next phase, the bone around the implant heals through a process called osseointegration. This makes the implant strong because the bone actually grows around the implant and holds it in place. Some patients will be required to wait for several months before the implant can be completely integrated. Other patients will have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
- The final stage involves the placement of the artificial teeth. Your dentist will prepare a new tooth for each tooth implant, which is called a dental crown. It is usually based on shape, color, size and fit and is designed to match your other teeth. If you are replacing several teeth, your dentist will prepare bridges that will be designed to conform to your mouth and your implants. Since the replacement teeth take longer to make, your dentist may give you bridges on a temporary basis to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is done.
If you are interested in dental implants, discuss carefully with your dentist first. If you are in good health, this treatment may be a desirable option for you. Usually, you are medically evaluated before any implant surgery is performed. Some conditions and chronic illnesses such as diabetes or leukemia are likely to interfere with the healing process after surgery. Patients with such conditions are not ideal for implants. The use of tobacco can also slow the healing process.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants are the first choice compared to other options of restoring damaged or missing teeth. Dental implants will help you chew, smile, eat, speak and maintain your natural appearance.
Compared to other repair and restoration methods, dental implants treatment is a more reliable option that will enhance your social, psychological and physical well-being.