A dental implant is a widely accepted solution as a substitution for missing teeth.
The Dental implant means any device or object inserted in the jawbones that serve as an anchorage for the replacement of the tooth. The dentists precisely place a Titanium screw in the jawbone. It behaves like a ‘root’ of the superstructure ‘crown’ and after the healing period, is ready to take the load of chewing food. The crown and root parts are held together with an Abutment.
Dental Implant History: Timeline
Search for the replacement of lost teeth has been since ages, the oldest known dental implant dates back to 600 AD, In Mayan Population when used shells to replace lower jaw teeth. The surprising aspect being the bone growth which was like the modern-day blade implants. The design of blade implants was by Leonard Linkow, known as a pioneer in Modern-day oral implantology. As early as 1968, he put these ‘blade-vent’ in use. Around the same time in the 1950s, Dr. Branemark introduced the concept of osseointegration that showed titanium integrating into the bone, this revolutionized the history of implant dentistry.
The truth about Dental implants is they are the closest possible artificial tooth alternative made of titanium, porcelain, etc. They are durable. Lasting for years together, even decades, and can take the biting force of your jaws.
Dental Implant: Types
The type of dental implant more popularly in use is the Endosseous (In the Bone) implant.
They are alloplastic things made of titanium, carefully put by making a space in the jawbone. Space corresponds to the size and shape of implants depending upon- screw type, cylinder type, blade type. Over the long run, the bone heals around the implant and holds the implant.
In Contrast, the Subperiosteal implant is over the bone yet under the gums. Typically recommended in people with a deficient bone volume. Advances in bone-building techniques and technology of cutting bone (using piezoelectric devices) Subperiosteal implants have lost their sheen.
Dental Implant: Procedure
Dental Implant Placement is an Outpatient medical procedure. Although the patient can return home on the day of surgery, the area may remain sore for almost 7-10 days with slight discomfort. Also, the healing of the bone around the implant may take months.
Roughly you can consider the dental implant procedure timeline as below by dividing the complete procedure into stages. Some may undergo all the stages, some may not. It differs in every individual. Broadly the stages are:
Stage 1- Removal of tooth
Eliminating a severely deteriorated tooth or root piece is a necessity before dental implant placement; dentists may prefer Complete removal. Unless they use a small thin part of the root piece, as a shield for cosmetic reasons. According to a recently developed concept.
Stage 2-Bone building
Every tooth has a unique function and a specific position. Once you lose a natural tooth, the space after tooth removal may not remain the same. To mimic the earlier tooth position, the dentist may plan for bone addition surgeries.
Luckily, many cases don’t require these bone addition surgeries.
Stage 3-Dental Implant Placement
The dentist gains access to the bone beneath the gums by slitting the gum and separating them gently. Thereafter, he drills an opening in bone corresponding to the size of the implant. Introduces a dental implant in the bone, that acts like the root part of the artificial tooth. They place back the gums together and allow for undisturbed healing.
Stage 4-Implant Healing and Growth
Osseointegration or bone-binding starts from the time the installation (screw) is in the bone.
It may take at least 4 months in the lower and 6 months in the upper jawbone for safe and complete healing to a degree sufficiently able to take the load of chewing forces.
Stage 5-Abutment Placement
After the Healing stage, they join the implant screw with a connecting part, Abutment. It stretches out into the mouth and helps for the crown attachment.
Stage 6-Crown Placement
After placing the abutment, The dentist makes an impression of the mouth to understand the three-dimensional orientation of the implant and abutment. The labs use the impressions to make an artificial crown that fits the abutments, sometimes glued otherwise screwed to the abutment.
Stage 7-After Care
Aftercare incorporates recommending medications, as per the need, Advising food restrictions, limiting it to just soft and liquids during the period of gum healing.
Even you should avoid Tobacco, Alcohol, caffeine as it may cause a delay in the healing.
The key after the implant placement is a regular maintenance visit every three months. Or as per the dentists’ advice.
How long do dental implants last?
The proper oral care under your dentists’ advice, combined with a regular follow-up visit, helps these tooth implants serve you longer. They may last years, even decades. It also depends on the general health condition. Some contributing factors that pose a risk in the long-term durability of the implants are Uncontrolled Diabetes, Osteoporosis.
Dental Implant: Problems
Placing a dental implant is mostly successful, As with any surgical procedures, even dental implants have problems.
After the procedure, some may feel minor uneasiness, and some may experience
- Swollen face
- gums swelling
- Minor wounds
- Throbbing pain at the procedure site
Medicines prescribed by the dentist can handle these problems.
Albeit less often experienced, problems with dental implants include:
- Injury to the nearby teeth, root, veins
- Persisting bleeding
- Jaw break
- Nerve injury
- Persistence in numbness on the side of surgery
- Loss of Sense in lips
- Sinus problems with the implants in the upper jaw.
Dental Implant: Cost
Many factors determine the cost of dental implants. There is no one size fits all therapy, and every aspect that alters the treatment plan may change the cost of dental implants.
A dental implant may cost 1000$ to 4500$.
Few factors that influence are:
- Dentist experience and Credentials
- Surgery extension
- Number of teeth to replace
- Availability of bone
- Gum tissue present.
Some insurance covers dental implants and some cover only the crown, The specific details you can get from your insurance provider before the procedure.
Among all the alternatives for the replacement of lost teeth, the Best is Dental implants. It does not involve alterations to other adjacent natural teeth and functions very close to the natural teeth. You can watch the Dental implant video that may further help you reduce your anxiety.