A dental implant is a surgical procedure that replaces the roots of an old tooth and replaces it with a completely new prosthetic tooth. Implants are the best option for tooth replacement if you are looking for a permanent solution. As they are connected directly through the gum into the jawbone with a piece of metal similar to a screw, there is no need for any other care of them other than you would for your other teeth. There are two options to have either removable or non-removable implants. Your preference can be discussed with our experts prior to your procedure.
As the bone structure of each person varies, this needs to be taken into consideration, as well as the integrity of the jawbone. If there are a group of teeth missing in the same area, you can consider the possibility of two implants and bridges between connected to two direct implants, or just direct implants for each of the teeth. Health conditions such as smoking, poor oral hygiene, steroid use, diabetes and osteoporosis can affect the success of your implants, so be sure to advise your practitioner if you have any of these. The potential success and risks of this procedure rely heavily on ensuring that the correct preparation methods are followed.
To attach the implant to the jawbone, first an incision in the soft tissue of the gum is required to be made so that access for drilling can occur. First a drill used at a high speed will be used to create the required holes. The high speed is to ensure as little burning, and pressure as possible. When this step is completed, a low speed drill will be used in the same position to ensure that the required size for the implants is achieved. The implant will then be screwed into place and the gum adapted around the new implant. Temporary prosthetics can be placed at this stage, but after the fusion of the implant and bone is complete, the prosthetic will then be attached at a later date.
For long term success, the bone needs to grow to adapt to the new implant. The recovery period of the implant varies greatly on the type of implant you are getting, and how many. It is important that a no-load bearing period is observed. This means not chewing solid objects with those teeth, putting direct pressure on them. This should not be a difficult task as you will be able to feel the pressure and unease if you accidentally do this. Your practitioner will be able to give you a detailed recovery plan dependent on your procedure either at your initial consultation, or after the procedure has been completed.
The maintenance of your new implants is similar to the oral care that you should be observing for normal teeth. Plaque needs to be removed using a Teflon instrument. Care will need to be taken with dental floss in the implant areas due to the incisions required during the procedure. Whilst there is a high success rate of implants lasting up to 15 years, they have the ability to discolor or chip over time dependent on the lifestyle of the individual. The better care you take of your teeth should see a longer lasting result.