Dental implants are one of the best methods to replace missing teeth. Before the development of dental implants, people were replacing missing teeth with full or partial dentures. This has all changed with the widespread use of dental implants. First dental implants were developed in Europe by Dr. Branemark.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that fuses with the jawbone. The process of fusing an implant with bone is called osseointegration. The implant has to be connected with a component called an abutment that supports the crown.
When an implant replaces a tooth, the implant provides stability to the jawbone without damaging adjacent teeth. According to the ADA, the long-term success rate for dental implants is 97 percent. Dental implants eliminate the problems associated with other replacement methods. An implant can replace one missing tooth, but as few as four implants can replace all the upper or lower teeth. The number depends on the quality and size of your jawbone. Sometimes the bone graft procedure has to be done prior to the implant placement. Implants are restored with crowns, bridges, or dentures.
An implant is placed by first making an incision in the gum tissue over the site of the missing tooth. A preparation is then made in the bone using various sized drills, after which the implant is screwed into the bone and the gum tissue is stitched closed. This procedure can be performed with the use of local anesthesia or IV sedation, and it’s usually a painless and well-tolerated dental surgery. The implant must stay uncovered for four to six months before it can be restored with the required restoration. Successful placement of dental implants requires a team approach from an oral surgeon, who surgically places the implant, and a restorative dentist, who will restore it.
People of all ages can have implants, except growing children. Even if you have bone loss from gum disease, there are bone-grafting procedures that can be performed so that implants can be placed. People with existing medical conditions can also have implants if their conditions are controlled. An oral surgeon or periodontist can evaluate your condition and advise what implant treatment should be used.
If you have dentures or are missing teeth, implants can improve your quality of life and give you confidence when eating or smiling. They are easy to maintain by brushing and flossing, just like your natural teeth.
Please let us know if you would like to discuss dental implants, as a tooth replacement therapy at your next visit with us.