What are dental implants?
Dental implants are an excellent solution for the millions of people who have permanently lost a single tooth, many teeth or for those who use dentures. Made of materials that are compatible with human bone and tissue, dental implants provide artificial teeth that look natural and feel secure. They can also be used to attach full or partial dentures.
Dental implants offer many advantages over conventional dentures and bridges, which are often uncomfortable and, due to slippages and clicks, limit a person’s ability to speak and eat normally. Because of this, many people feel self-conscious wearing their dentures. Dental implants can greatly enhance a person’s quality of life by providing the following:
- Restoring normal chewing and speaking functions.
- Increasing your confidence by replacing teeth that have a similar look, feel and function to your natural teeth.
- Eliminating irritated and painful gums, as well as damaging pressure on remaining natural teeth caused by dentures.
- Helping to stop the progressive bone loss and shrinkage of your jawbone by “mimicking” the roots of natural teeth.
Dental Implants for Tooth Replacement
Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but sometimes they don't! Replacing missing teeth is important for your general health and for the health of your other teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but un-replaced teeth can cause other teeth to be lost, tipped or crowded and create subsequent problems.
Also, there are obvious problems of poor appearance and loss of self-esteem caused by one or more missing teeth. Dental implants should always be considered as an option to replace a failing or missing tooth.
Replacement of lost teeth with dental implants has been used for treating missing teeth for more than 50 years and is recognised as an effective treatment choice. Treatment is considered more predictable than certain types of bridgework, and re-endodontic treatment.
Dental implants supported bridgework doesn't ever have to be removed. No more embarrassing inconvenience of removing your dentures every night. Dental implants are almost as convenient as having your own teeth.
Dental implants improve your smile
Replacing missing teeth with dental implants is very important for your front teeth. Whereas, a bridge or partial denture does not protect bone loss and can cause a visible bone defect, a dental implant prevents bone loss and gives a natural appearance.
Dental Implants behave like natural teeth
Probably the biggest advantage of a dental implant is that it restores full chewing power! When your implant has been placed, completely healed and restored, you may not be able to tell the difference between your natural tooth and the implant tooth. You can eat, brush and floss with it completely normally.
Dental Implants prevent bone loss
A major benefit of dental implants is that they prevent bone loss. As the jawbone requires pressure from chewing in order to maintain its density, it will deteriorate in the absence of a tooth. In fact, in the first year after you lose a tooth, your bone will lose 25% of its volume, and this will continue for as long as the tooth goes un-replaced by an implant.
Regular dentures and bridges can actually worsen bone loss because there is nothing to stimulate the bone. On the other hand, implant-supported dentures and bridges act like natural teeth and provide the pressure necessary to maintain bone density.
Dental implants feel natural
Dental implants feel and function just like your own teeth. There are no restrictions on the types of food you can eat. Many find that they can return to eating the kinds of foods they’ve missed for years with dentures.
You can enjoy attractive, healthy-looking smiles again with the help of dental implants!
Unlike a tooth-supported bridge, dental implants don’t require altering your other teeth. This leaves more of your own teeth intact, which improves your long-term oral health.
Missing teeth or loose dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat a wider variety of foods with confidence and without discomfort.
Missing teeth at the front of your mouth can result in a visible defect affecting the appearance of your smile, your self-confidence and possibly your speech. Missing teeth at the back of your mouth can affect your bite, your face and your ability to eat. If untreated, missing teeth can cause loss of bone in jaw and can affect position of surrounding teeth.
While the majority of implant treatments are 100% successful, any problems with the implants integrating with the bone may result in the treatment time extending which patients must be prepared for.
•The most common is bone loss happened due to untreated tooth loss for long time, which can be rectified through preliminary procedures such as a bone graft.
•Occasionally, it may be necessary to have a sinus lift. This usually occurs when implants are needed at the back of the upper jaw - an area where the bone is softer due to the enormous chewing forces at work. Tooth loss and bone thinning can cause the floor of the sinuses to collapse, and need reinforcing via a bone augmentation procedure.
•Sometimes your body will reject the implant. This has to do with your body’s natural defense and is one of the reasons why patients with compromised immune systems may not be suitable for implants. It is therefore imperative that you discuss with your dentist about any pre-existing medical conditions you may have before committing to treatment, as they can seriously affect the prognosis of a dental implant.
•Other complication can be infection caused by poor aftercare and oral hygiene, which can prolong the healing process that is so vital to a successful implant procedure. It is therefore extremely important to follow the instructions given to you by your dentists in between appointments and avoid smoking and alcohol.
•Sometimes a patient may need a nerve relocation to accommodate an implant, but this is fairly rare and usually only happens where there is less flexibility about where the implant can be placed.