What are dental implants?
Consisting of two primary components – the implant and the crown – a dental implant serves as a formidable replacement for a missing tooth. The implant, made of titanium or zirconium, is surgically inserted into the jaw, effectively taking on the role of the tooth’s root. Following a period of healing and subsequent assessment by the dentist, a dental crown is affixed atop the implant.
What does the procedure entail?
The dental implant procedure involves multiple stages:
- Consultation and Planning: Comprehensive examination, X-rays, and a CBCT scan to ensure there’s sufficient bone structure for the implant.
- Bone Grafting: If the jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, you might need bone grafting before getting the implant.
- Placement of Implant: Once ready, the dentist or oral surgeon inserts the dental implant into the jawbone through guided surgery, a process that sounds more intimidating than it feels.
- Osseointegration: This is a crucial phase where the bone grows around the dental implant to hold it in place. It can take several months.
- Abutment Placement: Once osseointegration is complete, an abutment is attached to the implant. The gum is then allowed to heal for a couple of weeks before the crown placement.
- Crown Attachment: Finally, a crown custom-made to match your natural teeth is placed on the abutment.
What are the benefits of opting for dental implants?
- Durability: Dental implants are built to last, ensuring longevity.
- Bone Health: Dental implants prevent bone loss, which often occurs beneath missing teeth.
- Natural Aesthetics: Dental implants mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.
- Minimal Maintenance: Dental Implants require no special care beyond routine oral hygiene.
- Tooth Integrity: Dental implants do not compromise the adjacent teeth.
- Chewing Power: They restore nearly all your natural chewing power, allowing you to eat your favourite foods without hesitation.
- Prevention of Facial Sagging: Missing teeth can lead to a sunken face appearance. Dental implants prevent this by preserving the bone.
Potential Side Effects and Recovery
- Post-Procedure Discomfort: It’s common to experience some discomfort, including swelling, bruising, minor bleeding, and pain at the implant site. However, over-the-counter pain medications and prescribed antibiotics can help manage these symptoms.
- Oral Hygiene Post-Implant: While implants resist decay, the gum around them can inflame if improperly cleaned. Using a soft-bristle toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste is recommended.
Dental implants offer an advanced solution for tooth replacement, preserving the integrity of your jawbone and surrounding teeth. Their unmatched durability and natural appearance make them a favoured choice for many.
If you’re considering dental implants or have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice. Our team is equipped with the expertise and technology to help you reclaim a radiant, functional smile.