Hi everyone! Today I will be explaining the basics about “Dental Implant”, this is one of the most popular treatment option for missing teeth replacement, But before talking about the details we should first know what exactly is an implant? It is a component which is surgically inserted/placed inside a body.
What is dental implant?
watch this video about basic implantology!! Credit: Checkdent
Dental implant is a small screw like component most commonly made up of titanium and is placed in the jaw bone surgically by a dental surgeon. Its main use is to support artificial teeth which replace any missing teeth in the jaw. It is one of the best available methods for replacement of missing teeth. Other than that it is often used to support partial or complete dentures.
Why is replacement of teeth important?
Most of us believe that loss of one or few teeth is not a major problem as you have 32 of them with you.
But that is wrong! Missing teeth can affect us in following ways
Impair the general health by limiting the eating habits.
Aesthetically unpleasing or Ugly appearance
Why is it better than the other treatment methods?
Other methods of teeth replacement are either based on taking support from the gums or teeth or both, this causes damage to the structures and often results in loss of supporting structures over the years. Placing a dental implant removes unnecessary forces on the other teeth and gums and takes support from the jaw bone like the natural teeth.
The cost factor!
One of the most important factors which decide a treatment is the cost, Dental implants are indeed very expensive to a common man, and it won’t be surprising if treatment cost of dental implants comes up in thousands of dollars.
But there are a lot of insurance companies which include dental implants in their cover, so next time please check if your insurance covers the dental implants or not.
Patient dilemma and fear!
It is very commonly seen that patients fear dentists and this fear grows when it is explained to them that a titanium screw will be placed in their jaw, it is indeed terrifying to listen to but actually most of the dental implant surgeries are minor surgeries done under local anaesthesia which is routinely used in the hospitals and dental offices.
The surgery is painless and due to advancements in medicine and surgical techniques all the post-operative complications can be minimized or managed effectively.
Is there a Dark side?
Even with so many advantages to offer, there are certain limitations to a treatment by dental implant.
Most important and common problem with dental implants is the long duration of treatment, it usually take 3-6 months at least to replace a tooth, although there are some techniques which help in immediate replacement of teeth like Basal Implantology but that cannot be used in all cases and most of the cases take 3-6 months to complete.
Another limitation to dental implants is the availability of bone in jaw, which determines prognosis and duration of treatment. Jaw bone can be augmented if needed but it will also increase the treatment time.
Systemic illness like Diabetes is very common even in young adults, and failure rate in patients with uncontrolled diabetes is very high. There are many other conditions which affect the success of dental implant like bone diseases and muscular diseases etc.
Other than those limitations, Dental Implants require very strict oral hygiene maintenance otherwise diseases like peri-implantitis can occur which can cause failure of implant.
Are dental implants COMFORTABLE?
Eating with one or more missing teeth feels disastrous, dental implant helps in replacing the teeth and improves aesthetics as well as functionality of your mouth, No one else is usually able to point out that a tooth is artificial as the prosthetic teeth which replace the missing tooth resembles just like a normal tooth in colour, shape and size.
So a person with missing teeth will feel more comfortable and confident with dental implants.
Life of Dental implant
Most of the dental implants come with a lifetime replacement warranty, however success of dental implant is more dependent of patient as how good oral hygiene is maintained.
A dental implant can be considered the best way to replace one or more missing teeth, even after considering long duration of treatment, the advantages and life of a dental implant is above all other available treatment options.
Dr MOUNICA MAGANTI
Dr Mounica graduated from NTR University, India in 2014. She is actively involved in volunteering for various health camps and practiced dentistry in India at a Dental Hospital. Currently she is working as a pre-dental assistant in Texas.