A dental implant is a replacement for a missing tooth.It is categorised at prosthetic dentistry although it is also viewed as a form of cosmetic dentistry.
Dental implants are an important treatment for preventing bone loss which is a common side effect of a missing tooth.If there is gap between the teeth then what tends to happen is a failure of the bone tissue to renew itself which causes it to atrophy.This can affect the shape of the jaw and facial apperaence resulting in a sunken cheeked look which is less than attractive .
But this can be prevented by a dental implant.The implant is situated within the bone of the jaw where it stimulates new bone growth and retains the structure of your jaw.
Dental implants have increased in popularity and are seen as an ideal solution to missing teeth or are used to help fix a denture in place. In fact dental implants are fast over taking dentures and bridges as the preferred form of treatment for missing teeth.
WHAT IS DENTAL IMPLANT
A dental implant is a small metal rod which acts as a replacement for the root of a tooth.I
t is made from titanium and is inserted into a drilled socket within your jaw to enable the fitting of a replacement tooth (crown) bridge or dentures.A small connection device known as an ‘abutment ‘ is fastened to the implant which then allows the fitting of the crown or bridge.
The number you require depends on the extent of bone loss and your personal preferences.
ADVANTAGES OF A DENTAL IMPLANT
1-) Attractive, natural looking apperaence
2-) No need for the drill or a tooth extraction
3-) Prevents the risk of bone loss
4-) Improves oral hygiene
Functions as well as a natural tooth.
HOW IS A DENTAL IMPLANT FITTED?
Implant placement procedure can be performed under local anesthesia although in some cases a general anesthetic is required.
The insertion of a dental implant involves several stages .
The process starts withour experienced dental surgeon checking the state of your teeth and gums and taking an x-ray .You undergo a bone scan as well to assess the density of bone in your jaw.
1.Insertion of dental implant
A small incision is made in the gum.The gum is lifted to one side which allow access to the jaw bone. The dentist then drills a small hole in the jawbone ready for the placing of the implant .This hole is gradually enlarged to enable the implant to fit firmly and snugly.The implant is then inserted to this hole and the gum replaced over this implant .It is stitched back in place and a protective cover placed over it enable to heal.
We wait for 3-6 months for the procedure known as ‘osseointegration ‘takes place in which the implant fuses with the bone of the jaw.
3.Fitting of the Crown
Once this time has passed the surgeon will revisit the site of the implant and attach a post or abutment to the implant. This is a junction between the implant and the false tooth(restoration).He then attach a temporary false tooth to the abutment.
Around 6 weeks later the dentist will then replace this with a permanent tooth.
HOW LONG DENTAL IMPLANTS LAST?
Dental implants last for many years in fact they can last for up to 30 years which is why they are a poular form of treatment.Bu thry are stil vulnerable to bacterial plaque accumulation and other dental problems in the same way as natural teeth so need to be cared for even more than your own natural teeth.
CAN ANYBODY HAVE A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Most people are suitable for an implant but there a few exceptions .These includes smokers,people who suffer from bruxism(teeth grinding), people with periodontal gum disesase, alcoholics and drug addicts.