A dental implant is a prosthetic device designed to replace missing teeth. Typically, a dental surgeon implants a screw-like fixture into the jawbone, serving as a secure anchor for an artificial tooth, known as a dental crown. An abutment joins the artificial tooth to the dental implant. Custom-made crowns are crafted to match a person's natural teeth in appearance, feel, and functionality.
Advantages Over Dentures:
Dental implants offer several benefits over removable dentures. They are more natural and comfortable, boast a higher success rate, improve chewing function, reduce the risk of cavities in adjacent teeth, preserve bone integrity at the site of tooth loss, and decrease sensitivity in neighboring teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants do not require nightly removal and cleaning.
However, it's essential to note that dental implants may not be suitable for everyone, as successful implantation depends on the health of the individual's jawbone.
Types of Dental Implants:
There are two primary types of dental implants:
These are the most common implants, surgically embedded directly into the jawbone. Each endosteal implant can support one or more artificial teeth.
In cases where the jawbone has limited height, a subperiosteal implant is affixed on top of the jawbone.
Dental implant surgery is considered safe when performed by a qualified and experienced dental surgeon or dentist. It stands as the only dental restoration option that not only replaces missing teeth but also promotes the health and growth of the jawbone.
Risks and Eligibility:
Everyone is not eligible for dental implant surgery. Individuals with acute illnesses, uncontrollable metabolic diseases, bone or soft tissue disorders, or infections may not be suitable candidates until these issues are resolved. Additionally, dental surgeons may refrain from operating on individuals with heavy smoking habits, parafunctional habits (such as tooth grinding), behavioral or psychiatric disorders, HIV, diabetes, osteoporosis, or AIDS due to the higher risk of implant failure. Certain medical treatments like bisphosphonate drug therapy, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy of the head or neck can also increase the risk of implant complications.
Complications during or after implant surgery are possible and may include nerve damage, incision opening, implant movement, exposure above the gum line, or implant infections. Those experiencing these issues may require further procedures to enhance bone and gum health or to remove or replace the implant. Signs of an unsuccessful implant placement include excessive mobility, secretions from the site, pain upon tapping the implant, and rapid bone loss.
The dental implant journey differs for each person, as it is shaped by various factors including the number of teeth needing replacement, the specific positions of the implants within the jaw, the condition and quantity of bone at the implant site, and the individual's overall oral and general health. In some cases, additional interventions like sinus augmentation or ridge modification may be required to ready the mouth for dental implant placement.
After dental implant surgery, regular oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing are essential. Artificial teeth require the same care as natural ones. Scheduled follow-up visits with the surgeon or dentist are crucial to monitor implant health and overall oral well-being. Professional cleanings every six months are recommended.
Dental implants are advanced solutions for replacing missing teeth, offering high success rates and long-term benefits. Additional preparatory procedures and the number of implants required can affect the overall cost. Individuals contemplating dental implant surgery should consult their dentist in Winnipeg to determine its suitability for their specific needs and circumstances.