What are Dental Implants?
Our teeth can fall out due to trauma, injury or simply old age. Dental implants are considered the gold standard in replacing missing teeth. They fit like natural, lifelike teeth and do not require the need to tamper with or damage neighbouring teeth. Compared to removal dentures and dental bridges, dental implants are considered a lot more desirable as long term harm to neighbouring teeth is minimised.
How do Dental Implants work?
Dental implants provide support for plant-supported crowns and bridges. These implants come in the form of screws that are inserted into your jawbone or titanium posts.
What is the process of getting Dental Implants?
Getting dental implants is not as complicated as many think, especially when performed by an experienced doctor.
Upon consultation, your dentist will consider the following:
- Overall suitability of dental implants
- Overall complexity of your case
- The size of your missing tooth gaps and whether there are dental implants that are suitable
- The health of your gums and bone — can they reliably support dental implants?
- The volume of the bone surrounding the affected area
- Presence of blood vessels, nerves and sinuses in the area
- Health risk factors — do you have conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and cardiac conditions?
- Other unique patient factors
A series of X rays and scans will then be taken to assess potential implant sites. During the surgery, the dental implant is inserted into your jaw bone. In some cases, bone grafting or gum grafting can be done at the implant site. Once the bone and gum around the implant have healed (usually 3 to 6 months), the abutment and crown are fitted into the implant to replace the real tooth. Any remaining tooth will be removed.
The implant placement steps are as follows:
- Local anaesthetic will be used to numb the area.
- An incision is made in your gums, exposing the bone.
- The bone will be drilled to create space for the implant.
- The implant will be screwed in place.
- The gums will be closed over the implant (May require stitches)
- The healing process (May take up to 5 months)
Abutment placement steps:
- The gum is reopened to expose the implant.
- The abutment is attached to the implant.
- The gum is closed around the abutment.
- The healing process (2 weeks)
What are the benefits of Dental Implants?
- Natural Looking: They look like your natural teeth.
- Comfort: They feel like your natural teeth, they do not need to be removed like dentures.
- Eating: There are no issues with eating, unlike with dentures which may move.
- Durability: They are very durable and may even be able to last a lifetime with proper care.
- Convenience: Implants eliminate the need inconvenience of removable dentures!
How do I ensure longevity of my Dental Implants?
To make sure your dental implants last as long as possible, always practice good oral hygiene and go for regular dental checkups. Avoid smoking and biting on hard substances.
Will I experience discomfort post-surgery?
Some post-surgery discomfort includes swelling of the gums, minor bleeding, bruising of the skin and gums and pain at the implant area. However, these will subside after a while.
What are the side effects of dental Implant surgery?
Side effects and complications of dental implant surgery are rare, but if they occur, they include:
- Failure to fuse the dental implant with the bone.
- Infection around the area of the implant.
- The body rejects the implant.
- Bone loss around the implant.
- Nerve damage due to drilling or implant placement.
Who is Dental Implants suitable for?
Dental implants may be suitable for patients with one or more missing teeth and have badly diseased teeth. The patient, however, has to have healthy gums and must not have other health conditions that may affect post-surgical healing.
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