What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial devices used by dentists to replace missing teeth. Implants come in many different sizes and shapes. Implants which rest on top of the bone are called subperiosteal implants. There are also very narrow implants which are placed within the bone, and are called blade implants. Those implants which resemble the root of the tooth are called root form implants, and they are placed into the bone to act as support for a prosthetic crown.
If you’re missing one tooth or all of your teeth, implants may well be for you. So long as you have enough bone in the area of the missing tooth to facilitate the anchorage of the implants, this procedure can yield terrific results. If you don’t have enough bone for this purpose, a bone graft may be necessary. If you have a small dental bridge or partial dentures (removable type), implants will be a welcome alternative. Implants are an alternative to a fixed bridge. The implant will last a lifetime, but the crown on top of it will last ten to fifteen years.
The success rate for implants depends on the tooth’s purpose and location in the mouth. The success rate is about 95 percent for those placed in the front of the lower jaw and 85 percent for those placed in the sides and rear of the upper jaw.
Since implants involve surgery and are more involved, they cost more than traditional bridge work. However, some dental procedures and portions of the restoration may be covered by dental and medical insurance policies. Your dentist can help you with this process.
Dental implants have given countless patients many amazing benefits.
- You will smile again
- Improved appearance
- Improved comfort
- Improved speech
- Eat better, enjoy more foods, better nutrition
- Improved self-esteem
No. Any person at any age can have dental implants as long as there is enough bone available in which to place the implants.
The success of your implants will depend greatly on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by your implant dentist every three to four months. This hygienist should be trained in the specific procedure of maintaining dental implants. Also, brushing and flossing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.
No. An effective local anesthetic is used during the surgery so that you do not have any discomfort during the placement of the implants. The mild discomfort you might experience after surgery can be controlled with medications.
You can go to work the next day, unless some particular surgical circumstance arises. Your implant dentist will discuss all postoperative instructions with you.