A dental implant is a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. Dentist positions them directly into the jawbone, where they provide the root of the missing tooth or teeth with an artificial replacement. These will sustain crowns or dentures in a similar way that natural teeth are supported by roots. Missing teeth can really knock your confidence and affect your way of eating and talking. Dental implants provide a long-lasting and safe treatment option for teeth replacement.
A dental implant itself is a titanium screw, which is placed directly into the jawbone, replacing the missing tooth root. After it’s fitted, the bone surrounding the implant will gradually fuse to it, holding the implant firmly in place.
Are implants safe and how long will they last?
Implants are a medication that is effective and well known. It’s probably true to say that implants will last as long as you care for them, much like natural teeth.
How well you take care of your implants-and whether you are going to get your regular maintenance appointments-will have the greatest impact on how long they last.
If you don’t look after your implants, they will develop a coating similar to what you get on neglected natural teeth. Left untreated, this can lead to gum infection, bleeding, soreness and general discomfort. With natural teeth, you could get all these issues.
If your implants are well looked after, and you can expect them to last for several years if the bone they are attached to is strong and healthy. There is no lifetime guarantee, though, just like other surgical implants (such as a hip replacement).
Can implants always be used to replace missing teeth?
It depends on your jaw’s bone state. The dentist must schedule a number of special tests to find out how much bone there is still. If there is not enough, or if it is not secure enough, the first injection of implants may not be possible without bone grafting into the area.
Do implants hurt?
It is often easier to place an implant than to extract a tooth and is usually done with a simple local anesthetic. You won’t feel much pain at the moment, but in the week after the surgery, just like after an extraction, you can experience some discomfort.
Sometimes, if you’re very nervous or if the case is complicated, your dentist may give you a sedative. General anesthetics are rarely used in implants and are usually used only in very complicated cases.
- Placing the implant
- Timing of implants after extraction of teeth
- Healing time
- One versus two-stage surgery
- Immediate placement
- Additional surgical procedures
- Hard tissue (bone) reconstruction
- Soft tissue (gingiva) reconstruction
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