Dental Implants 101: The What, Where, When and How
Dental implants are one of the most viable modern-day methods for replacing lost teeth and restoring a patient’s confidence. While it’s true that our dental care routine and dental hygiene play an important role in sustaining the health of our teeth, there are still people who suffer from permanent tooth loss caused by tooth decay or injury.
We tackle the what, where, when, and how of dental implants – what they are, where and how they are placed, when they are used, and their long-term effects.
What are tooth implants?
A tooth implant (also known as a dental implant) is made from an artificial titanium root that is planted in the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. Implants can also be used to replace multiple teeth at a time. Implants are designed to act as a permanent fixture in the mouth, designed with your existing teeth in mind to make their integration as seamless as possible.
Where do dental implants go, and how are they placed?
There’s no sugar-coating here. Dental implants require surgery. But that doesn’t have to be something to be intimidated about, especially when your dentist is open about the process! For the surgery, patients can opt for either local anaesthesia or full sedation, often at the express advice of their dentist, but either option is entirely painless during the positioning.
Your dentist will consult with you about your options – which can also include bridges or dentures – and you can work with them to make the right choice about your ongoing dental health.
Below are the types of dental implants that depend on where and how they will be fixed into the mouth.
The Types of Dental Implants
- Endosteal implants – This type of implant entails surgically implanting screws directly into the jawbone. When the gum tissue heals, a second surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant. The artificial tooth or teeth are then attached to the individual or grouped bridge or denture. This means that the implants are perfectly secured into your mouth, and won’t be going anywhere any time soon.
- Subperiosteal implants – These implants include a metal frame fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. When the gums heal, the frame becomes fixed to the jawbone. The posts attached to the frame protrude through the gums after which, artificial teeth are mounted to the posts.
When are dental implants used?
It’s our philosophy that everyone should feel bright and confident when they smile, and missing teeth can take away from that significantly. When you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, it can impact on your self-esteem. We often see patients with a habit of covering their smiles in some way, simply because they are embarrassed about their teeth. Simple tasks like chewing and enunciating can also become a hassle.
Dental implants are permanents solutions that can be customised to suit every person’s oral needs. They are used when you want to improve your speech, want to improve your appearance, want to achieve improved oral health, or make the process of eating much more comfortable for yourself.
More than just replacing a missing tooth or teeth, dental implants are also used to support crowns, bridges, and even dentures. Because the implants fuse to your jawbone, the dentures or bridges that you may already have won’t slip or shift in your mouth.
What are the long-term effects of dental implants?
As the procedure does involve surgery, it will most likely cause some of the discomforts that are typically associated with invasive treatments. This may be in the form of swelling of your gums and face, pain at the implant site, and minor bleeding. Don’t fret! All of these symptoms are resolvable with pain medications, antibiotics, and proper dental care. After undergoing a dental implant procedure, it’s important to continue practising good oral hygiene and checking up with your dentist regularly to make sure no infection will occur.
It’s important to note that when you’ve undergone a dental implant procedure, you have to make sure you avoid damaging habits such as smoking or chewing hard items that can break your crown or stain your teeth. You care for your dental implants as if there were your normal, original teeth. Remember, dental implants are meant to replace a missing tooth and mimic your natural one, so caring for them properly is essential.
With the right amount of effort put into oral hygiene, your dental implants can act as normal teeth and will last for many years.
Experience a safe and relaxed dental implant procedure
If you find yourself asking, “what’s the best dentist near me?”, you need to make sure you’re approaching a dentist you trust. At Primecare Dental, we aim to provide you with safe and high-quality dental procedures personalised to your smile. With us, getting an individualised treatment plan is the first step. We offer 3-D digital planned dental implants wherein our team is able to virtually and predictably place the implant in the safest manner, so you’re ensured of an accurate depiction of the procedure.
Visit our clinic today, and let’s build a smile you love!