Are you missing one tooth, multiple teeth or all teeth? Do you have a jawbone that has reached full growth? You are the best candidate for a dental implant. Traditionally, there were limited options for replacing missing teeth. However, technological advancement has brought a paradigm shift in the dental world. Patients with missing teeth are now able to access more available dental options. One of these emerging developments is known as dental implants. Recently, they are becoming more popular since they have a more natural feel and are more long-lasting than conventional teeth replacement options. Before getting dental implants, you need to ask your dentist various questions to understand what you are getting into. Some of the questions include:
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is not a real tooth, but a prosthetic device used to replace missing teeth. Essentially, it is a small screw developed out of titanium that is placed directly into the jawbone. A dummy cap, a partial denture or a full denture is fixed at the top, giving the appearance of a natural tooth. Once the implant is incorporated into your bone, an abutment is attached to the implant. Finally, the artificial tooth/teeth are fixed. An implant tooth comprises three parts: the dental implant, the abutment and the artificial tooth.
Am I the Right Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you have one or more missing teeth, you are the right candidate for dental implants. However, your teeth and gums must be in healthy condition since periodontal diseases reduce implants’ success rate. Also, you must be dedicated and willing to observe good oral health to curb the potential risk of developing an autoimmune disorder or uncontrolled diabetes.
Secondly, you must be having adequate bone density. In most cases, dental implants require not less than 6 millimeters of bone to build enough volume. However, if you lack enough bone density to support an implant, grafting can build up the bone.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Most people think that dental implants are only meant to replace missing teeth. However, implants do much more than teeth replacement. Implants help maintain and strengthen the bone structure; they enhance your tooth alignment, minimize bone loss, and provide oral health. Also, implants protect against the development of crooked teeth by preventing the neighboring teeth from moving into the gap left behind by a missing tooth. Lastly, dental implants are long-lasting and can help to enhance personal appearance, improve your self-confidence and your ability to chew any food.
What are the Different Types of Implants?
All implants are not the same. There are three common types of dental implants which include: Endosteal, subperiosteal and zygomatic.
These are the most common type of dental implants. They possess lower risk potential and their recovery period is shorter. However, for you to put these types of implants, you must have a good and healthy jawbone for the post to fuse to.
Unlike Endosteal implants, Subperiosteal implants are not fixed into the jawbone. Instead, they are placed on top of the bone, but their position on the gum remains unchanged. A metal frame is fixed below the gum with a post linked to it. The gum relies on the frame for support. Patients with inadequate jawbone only use subperiosteal implants for an implant, and the patient is unwilling to do bone grafting to add bone to the affected area.
zygomatic implants are not so common since they involve a complicated procedure, and they are limited to patients with the inadequate jawbone for the Endosteal implant. Instead of fixing the implants on the jawbone, Zygomatic implants are placed in the patient’s cheekbone.
How is the Procedure Carried Out?
Dental implant surgery is not similar to all candidates. The procedure is performed depending on the type of implant and the condition of the jawbone. Since it is an outpatient procedure, it takes place in different appointments that are several months apart.
Dental implant surgery entails the use of local anesthesia or IV sedation to numb the mouth. A cut is made in your gums to insert the tooth root implant into the jawbone in the gap left by the missing tooth. After attaching the implant, the doctor will close the gums over the implant to ensure it is completely covered.
Since a single procedure is not enough, you will wait for few months before going back for the second phase. This gives adequate time for the bone to develop around the implant. After the titanium has combined well with the bone, an abutment will be placed over on the part that will hold the new tooth. After your gums have healed, the dentist will create a crown which will then be fixed to the abutment.
What are the Risk Factors of Dental Implant?
Just like any surgery, some risks can follow after a dental implant procedure. Some of these risks include:
Before a dental implant procedure, patients are normally given antibiotics to reduce the potential risk of infections. Unfortunately, they are unlikely to help minimize the occurrences of infection. Infection is so common after dental implantation. Infection occurs at the affected area giving rise to an abscess, inflammation or radiolucency. Infection can also spread to the neighboring areas causing a systematic infection.
Uncontrolled Bone Loss
The dental implant procedure can result in excessive bone loss, leading to the emergence of black triangles between the teeth, which can pose teeth cleaning challenges. Losing bones in the area of a dental implant can compromise the replacement’s stability, which can result in more complications.
In case you suffer an implant breakage, the screw must be eliminated and the entire implant replaced. Having an implant fracture is dangerous since it weakens the remaining bone reducing its ability to support a new implant.
Dental implant surgery is also linked with other minor complications such as nerve injury, destruction of the implant tissue cells, Failure of wound healing, hyperplasia, and excessive bleeding.
What is the Average Recovery Period After the Procedure?
So, are you wondering what the timeline looks like after going through the surgery? Well, various factors will determine the recovery period since the state and the shape of your mouth are not the same. First, the recovery period can be determined on what was involved during the dental implant surgery: the number of fixed implants. Some people receive a single implant, while others receive multiple implants.
Secondly, the recovery period will be affected by the nature of your bone and your general health condition. People who went through bone grafting before dental implant take a longer period to recover. Consequently, people with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes take longer since the condition affects blood circulation, which is crucial in healing.
People who smoke tobacco products and those who fail to follow all the treatment plan instructions take longer to recover. However, the average recovery period for a dental implant procedure is six to nine months.
What is the Cost of Fixing Dental Implants?
The average cost of a dental implant is between $1500 to $ 6500. The price range varies depending on the patient’s needs, the volume of bone needed and the hospital location. However, this cost is not inclusive of the abutment, which is around $ 300 to $ 500 and crown, ranging between $ 1000 to $ 2000. There is no cost difference when replacing a single tooth with a dental implant and replacing it with a normal fixed.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Implants?
The fundamental dental insurance policies exclude coverage of a dental implant procedure. To incorporate insurance cover to your cost, you will be required to enroll in cosmetic dental procedure coverage, which will cover part of your cost. Fortunately, your dental implant insurance coverage can pay half of the procedure cost.
Are Dental Implants Long-Lasting?
Compared to natural teeth, dental implants last longer since they do not suffer diseases like decay. However, if the gum is experiencing various health conditions, the implants’ durability can be compromised. To maintain a lasting implant success, the patient must observe constant oral hygiene and follow regular professional check-ups.
Are Dental Implants Removable?
Unlike dentures, dental implants cannot be removed since they are fixed permanently in the bone, and just like natural teeth, they do not interfere with teeth replacement.
Facts About Dental Implants
Our teeth are not permanent, and we must lose one or more teeth at some point in life. By the time you get to 40 years, you will have lost at least one permanent tooth. As time progresses, you will have lost more than a quarter of the adult teeth. Dental implants will allow you to restore your missing or damaged teeth, giving you a more natural look. Since they are designed to look like real teeth, they will blend in well with the rest of the teeth.
If you have any teeth-related problems or would like a dental implant procedure, contact us now and book your appointment.