Filling gaps in a tooth line is not a new idea. This has been done for centuries using various strange ideas such as seashells embedded in the jaw. A more attractive and surely less painful method was invented about 60 years ago with the introduction of titanium dental implants.
There are two schools of thought concerning dental implants. One sector is of the opinion that they are purely cosmetic whereas another sector considers them a replacement that is necessary to prevent the jaw’s skeletal structure collapsing.
Tooth decay, bad hygiene and trauma are just some of the ways people lose their teeth. The gaps left by these losses are unappealing and can age a face. Gaps in the mouth eventually cause masticating problems. People who are generally healthy and who have looked after their teeth may experience a 100% success rate when undergoing an implant. However in patients who smoke heavily or diabetics the success rates drop dramatically and many dentists may refuse to perform the procedure.
Dental implants can be performed on anyone even young adults their bone development has stopped. The root and screw to which a crown will be attached are entirely constructed from titanium. Titanium is very rarely rejected by the body and is therefore ideal for any artificial replacements.
Before dental work is performed the patient’s jawbone, gums and teeth are extensively examined. X-rays of underlying nerve and sinus structures are taken to determine bone height and density. Patients with inadequate bone height and gum tissue may have to undergo an augmentation grafting before a dental implant procedure can be performed.
Information on various options and procedures is discussed and the dentist will then determine what route to follow for the best results. A titanium root is constructed to specifications of the tooth root it will replace to ensure a precise fit. This root, once implanted will require a period to bond with the jawbone. The bonding period could be as long as six months.
The root is inserted through a small hole drilled into the jawbone and the area closed and left to heal. The insertion procedure requires skill and assistance of either X-rays or CT scan to guide the dentist in order to avoid irreparable nerve damage. After bonding has completed an abutment is screwed into the root and a temporary crown is created. Eventually a permanent ceramic or porcelain crown will replace the temporary one.
Dental implants give patients complete oral function immediately after the procedure is completed. They will find that they are able to talk and eat without any tooth movement as the implant is securely affixed. A comprehensive overall oral hygiene regime is required to ensure that natural and implanted teeth stay healthy. If well cared for implants will last up to 40 years. Patients may find that their gums and teeth are swollen and suffer discomfort after this procedure but it is minor. It is essential that a person ensure they consult a dentist that is well qualified to perform implanting before having any work done.