Dental implants are titanium light weight metal rods that are inserted in the jawbone to replace lost or missing teeth. They replace the roots of the missing teeth and are well accepted by the human body. Dental implants are well established, scientifically tried and tested and have very high success rates.
Implants provide firm support and stability to crowns and bridges, dentures and other prostheses. Dental implants are used to replace a missing single tooth or a whole set. A major advantage of an implant is that it replaces a tooth that is missing without the need to cut down adjacent teeth to construct support. In the case of dentures, implants prevent the movement of dentures within the mouth.
At an initial consultation for implants, the dentist determines a patient’s suitability for the treatment. Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants and there are numerous factors to consider during planning stage. Primarily, a patient should have good volume and density of bone to place an implant. If not, a bone grafting procedure is done prior or during the placement of implants.
An implant is placed under effective local anaesthesia. Sometimes an anxious patient may require sedation or general anaesthesia. The patient does not feel pain and may feel slight discomfort post operatively.
After the placement of implants, it takes about eight to twelve weeks, sometimes even longer for the implant to integrate with the bone. The dentist performs a quick test to determine the strength and bone integration of the implant. After this, a prosthesis like a crown, a bridge, or a partial or full denture is constructed. The maintenance of implants is very similar to routine oral hygiene procedures and regular dental visits.