An implant is an artificial tooth "root" surgically placed in your mouth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Made of metallic (titanium) and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with your jaw, implants fuse with your bone to support a crown, bridge or full denture. The basis for modern dental implants is a biologic process called osseointegration where materials, such as titanium, form an intimate bond to bone. The implant fixture is first placed, so that it is likely to osseointegrate, then a dental prosthetic is added. A variable amount of healing time is required for osseointegration before either the dental prosthetic (a tooth, bridge or denture) is attached to the implant or an abutment is placed which will hold a dental prosthetic
What are the advantages of Dental Implants ?
Improvement in appearance - Implants make you feel good about your appearance. They are designed to look and feel exactly like your own teeth. Since they are designed to fuse with bone , they are permanent
Improvement in speech-Dentures can cause problems incase they are poor fitting- the teeth may slip in the mouth causing slurred speech . Dental implants are fused into your bones so such accidents are avoided.
Increased comfort-Since implants become a part of you they eliminate the discomfort that you may experience with removable dentures.
Chewing made easy- Dentures tend to slide making it difficult to chew food. Dental implants function like your own teeth since they fuse with your bone. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favourite foods with confidence and without pain.
Leap in self esteem - Dental implants give you confidence in your personal appearance.You can smile , laugh without having to think about it.
Improved Oral Healthcare - Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, unlike a tooth-supported bridge . The rest of the teeth are not altered to support implants. The patient's own teeth are left intact. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Durability - Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
Convenience - Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
How successful are dental implants ?
The success of an implant is dependent on where in the jaw the implant are being placed. However in general dental implants have a high success rate. Proper care of implants will ensure that they last the patient an entire lifetime .
Who is eligible for dental implants ?
Anyone who is healthy enough to get their teeth extracted or undergo any type of dental surgery can be considered a candidate for a dental implant. However each patient must be evaluated on an individual basis . Having healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implants is the bare minimum requirement. A patient who is a heavy smoker or suffers from diabetes or heart disease or has undergone radiation therapy in the head/neck region , needs to be carefully evaluated.