Understanding Teeth Implants
Teeth implant surgery is a process that replaces tooth roots with metal, screw like posts and restores injured or missing teeth with false teeth that look and function much like real ones. Teeth implants can present a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework that does not fit well and can offer an alternative when a lack of natural teeth roots do not allow building denture or bridgework tooth alternative.
How dental implant surgery is completed depends on the type of teeth implants and the condition of your jawbone. Dental implant surgery may involve some procedures. The major advantage of teeth implants is solid support for your new teeth — a procedure that needs the bone to heal firmly around the implant. Since this bone healing needs time, the procedure can take a lot of months.
Why Teeth Implants are Done
Dental implants are surgically implanted in your jawbone, where they provide as the roots of missing teeth. Since the titanium in the implants combines with your jawbone, the implants won’t slide, make noise or cause bone injury the way fixed bridgework or dentures might. And the resources can’t decay like your teeth that support normal bridgework can.
Generally, dental implants may be accurate for you if you:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants or are able to have a bone graft
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- Don’t smoke tobacco
- Have a jawbone that’s reached full growth
- Don’t have health conditions that will affect bone healing
- Have healthy mouth tissues
- Want to improve your speech
- Are willing to commit several months to the process
Like any surgery, dental implant surgery creates some health risks. Problems are uncommon, although, and when they do happen they’re usually minor and easily treated. Here are some known risks:
- Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels
- Infection on the implant area
- Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities
- Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin
What You Can Expect
The whole process can take numerous months from start to finish. Much of that time is dedicated to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw. Depending on your condition, the specific process done or the materials used, certain steps can at times be combined.
Placing the Teeth Implants
During surgery to put the teeth implants, your oral surgeon makes a cut to open your gum and expose the bone. Holes are drilled into the bone where the dental implant metal post will be located. Since the post will provide as the tooth root, it’s planted deep into the bone.
At this time, you’ll still have an opening where your tooth is not there. A type of partial, temporary denture can be placed for appearance, if necessary. You can get rid of this denture to clean before you sleep.
Waiting for Bone Growth
Once the implant post is positioned in your jawbone, osseointegration (oss-ee-oh-in-tuh-GRAY-shun) begins. Through this process, the jawbone grows into and fuses with the surface of the dental implant. This procedure, which can take some months, provide a solid base for your new artificial tooth — exactly what roots do for your natural teeth.
Choosing Your New Artificial Teeth
Once your gums heal, you’ll have additional impressions made of your mouth and remaining teeth. These impressions are used to create the crown — your realistic-looking artificial tooth. The crown can’t be positioned until the jawbone is tough enough to hold up use of the new tooth.
You and your dental specialist can decide the artificial teeth that are detachable, fixed or a blend of both:
This type is like to a conventional detachable denture and can be a partial or full denture. It contains artificial white teeth bounded by pink plastic gum. It’s mounted on a metal frame that’s attached to the embedded abutment, and it snaps firmly into place. It can be easily removed for repair or daily cleaning.
In this type, an artificial tooth is permanently screwed or cemented onto an individual implant abutment. You can’t take out the tooth for cleaning or during sleep. In general, each crown is attached to its own dental implant. On the other hand, because implants are remarkably strong, some teeth can be replaced by one implant if they’re bridged as one.
After the Process
Whether you have dental implant surgery in one stage or multiple stages, you might experience some of the typical discomforts associated with any kind of dental surgery, such as:
- Bruising of your skin and gums
- Minor bleeding
- Pain at the implant site
- Swelling of your gums and face
- Pain at the implant site
You may require pain medications or antibiotics after dental implant surgery. If swelling, discomfort or any other difficulty gets worse in the days after surgery, contact your oral surgeon.
After each stage of surgery, you might need to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals. Normally, your surgeon will use stitches that dissolve on their own. If your stitches aren’t self-dissolving, the doctor removes them.