Dental Implants are special posts, which are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth or to support a denture. The implant functions as the root of a tooth and, depending on the number of implants placed, it can be used to replace everything from a single tooth to a full com- pletment of teeth. It takes an average of 3-6 months for the jawbone to integrate with the implant before it can be used to support a dental restoration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What materials are used in a Dental Implant?
The most common material used for a dental implant is titanium or a titanium alloy. Ceramic may also be used in patients wishing to have a non-metallic option.
What are the benefits of having a Dental Implant placed?
There are many benefits to having an implant placed.
A missing tooth can be replaced without cutting down the adjacent healthy teeth as is required when placing a bridge. Implants allow the dentist to replace missing teeth even when a bridge is not an option. Dental implants can provide a more stable base for a denture, particularly in the lower jaw. Also, dental implants help to preserve and maintain healthy jawbone in the area of the missing tooth or teeth. With proper home care and maintenance, dental implants can restore your smile and chewing ability for a lifetime.
What are the risks associated with a Dental Implant?
There is always a small chance that the dental implant will fail to integrate with the jawbone and have to be removed. Certain medical conditions can put you at a higher risk for implant failure. As with any surgery, there is a potential risk of surgical complications when placing a dental implant. Improperly positioned dental implants can make it di cult–if not impossible–to place a useful dental restoration in the mouth. Implant supported restorations do not have the same feeling as a normal tooth and it is possible to put too much pressure on them when chewing, leading to damage of the implant restoration or opposing tooth.
What is the alternative to replacing a missing tooth with a Dental Implant?
Bridges, dentures or partial dentures can replace missing teeth without requiring implants. The missing tooth or teeth can also be left without replacement. This, however, can lead to other problems such as an unstable bite or unwanted movement of the surrounding teeth.
Can a bite affect Dental Implant placement?
If you have a misaligned bite, the restorations placed on the dental implants will be at greater risk for fracture or failure. Proper alignment of the teeth prior to dental implant placement leads to a more esthetic result. Bite and tooth alignment problems should be addressed prior to dental implant placement.
Are there any post-treatment limitations once I have a Dental Implant placed?
You should be careful not to disturb the surgical site immediately after dental implant placement. This means no chewing on the side of the implant and careful cleaning methods for several weeks to a month. The dental implant takes several months to totally fuse to the jaw, so fewer disturbances to the area means a higher success rate. If you have a temporary denture to replace your missing dentition, it is important that the denture does not rub on the surgical site.