Dental implants: one of the new wonders of dentistry

Dental implants: one of the new wonders of dentistry

March 9, 2020 9:37 am Published by

The marvel of modern dentistry means that many of us can expect to go a whole lifetime with a full set of natural teeth. However, when problems occur, it’s still possible to lose a tooth – incidents like an unlucky fracture or neglected gum disease can mean a tooth might be lost. If you do have missing teeth, then there’s no need to undergo the indignity of a happy smile, or the discomfort and annoyance of false teeth. Dental implants, one of the newest dentistry solutions, may be able to give your perfect smile back.

  • What is an implant?

A dental implant is simply a small post put inside the jaw bone to replace the tooth root, with a dental crown sitting on top. It’s a permanent process that requires minimal maintenance afterwards and looks exactly like the rest of your teeth. The implant process is performed by an oral surgery specialist. Drs. Nicolas & Asp has dedicated surgeons who have performed many successful implant procedures.

  • What’s the procedure?

First, the specialist will check the condition of your teeth and gums, and put together a treatment plan just for you. Then, the biggest part of the process is placing the titanium post in the jawbone. This sounds more alarming than it is – there’s no need to take time off work, but you might want to time it so that you can go straight home and relax afterwards. During the first few days, you’ll want to eat soft foods and you might take over-the-counter painkillers to ease any discomfort. As it heals, the bone grows around the implant, so it fully integrates with your jaw. This is called ‘ossointegration’. During this time you’ll have a follow-up appointment with the surgeon to make sure all is well.

  • What’s next?

Once this has healed, a second, shorter surgery adds a connector post to the implant – this type is known as an endosteal implant. This will hold the new tooth later. A mould is taken by the dentist to make sure the size, shape and colour of the bridge or crown all match your natural teeth. You’ll have the opportunity to approve the colour before it’s ordered from the lab. Once fitted, the piece will blend in with the rest of your smile so it looks completely natural.

  • Same-day implants

If your dental health is pretty good, then it might be possible to make a same-day implant. This means the post is inserted and the tooth attached on the top straight away, in one appointment. However, it’s more usual to have the implant fitted across a number of appointments – this allows for plenty of settling-in time. In this case, a temporary tooth is added, with the final tooth being custom-made at the lab and fitted later once all the healing has taken place.

  • The benefits

Probably the biggest benefit is that an implant looks and feels completely natural! It’s also strong and stable. The implant sits under your gum, inside the jaw, so they won’t slip or move like dentures – they’re permanent. Once healing is complete, you can forget the implant is even there. There’s no age limits on implants and no other teeth are affected. And, if looked after properly, implant success rates are very high. One can last a lifetime with the right care and attention.

  • Considerations

In order to have an implant, you have to have enough jaw bone to hold the post. If there has been significant damage to the area, then you may need a bone graft beforehand. Likewise, if you have worn dentures for many years, then you’ll need your dentist’s advice on whether any prep work is needed before implants can be used. For an implant, you need to have otherwise healthy teeth and gums, and impeccable dental hygiene afterwards. Healing times mean that those with immune system-affecting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or smokers, may not be able to have implants – it’s best to ask your dentist for individual advice. However, for most, the benefits will almost definitely outweigh the drawbacks.

  • Aftercare

You can treat your implant just the same as you would your natural teeth. Get a good hygiene routine in place, with twice-daily brushing, frequent flossing, and avoidance of bad foods and habits (like smoking). Your normal dentist will check the condition as part of your regular six-monthly check-up – there’s no other work required.

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