Dental Implants are the best possible solution for missing teeth available today.
Improves Quality of life
To have a functioning set of teeth can greatly improve your quality of life. Not only will you be able to eat well, but you can also look great. Having your teeth helps give shape and support to your whole face. When teeth are lost, the gum and jaw bones shrink, which gives rise to a premature aging effect.
Prevents resorption of bone, hence prevent aging
Dental implants are small titanium screws about the size of the roots of your own teeth. Once placed into the space left by a missing tooth the jaw bone will grow and fuse with the implant, but the most important thing is that the shape of your jaw bone will now be preserved, stopping the aging effect. Implants are the closest thing to natural teeth that is available today.
Bite like natural teeth
Implants are incredibly strong which means that you can bite and chew with an implant just as well as with natural teeth, even with hard foods like whole apples and raw carrots! They are very long-lasting, and allow you to live as if you had all of your natural teeth. Implants are also very versatile, and a combination of one or more implants can be used to restore anyone's smile to brilliance.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw which is placed into the bone where a tooth is missing to provide the most stable and long-lasting platform for the replacement of the missing teeth. Titanium dental implants were first used thirty years ago. Over that period of time there has been a very large amount of research to show that they work extremely effectively and reliably, and are the best possible replacement for missing teeth.
What are the components of an implant?
The main component is the titanium implant itself(see Fig 1. Titanium Implant below). This resembles a precisely manufactured screw with a specially roughened surface which makes it very compatible with bone. The implant is about the same size as the root of a natural tooth. It is placed into the bone and left to integrate for 4-6 weeks some times months. By this time it is rock-solid in the bone. There are no problems with the integration of the implant into the bone, because titanium is one of the few materials that can perform osseointegration, whereby the implant is accepted into the bone which fuses around it.
Fig 1: Titanium Implant
Fig 2: Titanium Implant(X-ray)
Once the implant is solid in the bone, the second part, a special titanium post, can be screwed into the implant. This is called the abutment(See below image)
The abutment allows the fixation of the final part of the implant – the crown (a replacement tooth). The crown is usually screwed into place. The porcelain on the crown is custom made to match the colour of the rest of your teeth, so that the implants are imperceptible from natural teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
- Your new dental implant will look and feel like natural teeth.
- With dental implants you will have more confidence to smile and even be able to bite an apple!
- Dental implants can replace a removable denture with fixed teeth.
- Dental implants stop your gums and bone from shrinking which reduces the aging effect caused by losing teeth.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
We make sure that our patients feel no discomfort during the placement of the dental implant. This is through using an effective local anesthetic. Post-operatively we prescribe painkillers to ensure that our patients remain comfortable.
How long does the treatment take?
For routine cases treatment time is usually 12-16 weeks. More complex cases can take longer. Parameters like bone volume, patient’s medical status, bone grafting can increase the treatment. More specific treatment schedule will be explained after the initial consultation.
How often will I need to have my dental implants checked?
It is essential that you continue to maintain good oral hygiene and routine bi- annual check-ups. Once in a year you must see your Implantologist for the longevity of your implants.
Am I the right candidate for dental implants?
A general good health and missing teeth makes you eligible to have dental implants. Apart from few medical conditions, almost everyone can have dental implants. Uncontrolled diabetes and bruxism are two conditions which do not favor a good end result. If the diabetes is under controlled one can achieve good results with dental implants.
If you are a smoker, you must be ready to quit smoking at least for 10 days after placement of dental implants, till the time gums heal properly.
You must have good quality and quantity of bone for implant placement. However, even people who have lost significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment with additional procedures to add bone or create new bone. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for thousands of patients who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant procedures.