Dental Implants

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures.  Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.

Reasons for considering dental implants

  • Replace one or more teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
  • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
  • Restore a patient’s confident smile
  • Restore chewing, speech and digestion
  • Restore or enhance facial tissues
  • Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used to support a restoration for a missing tooth or teeth. The dental implant procedure is categorized as a form of prosthetic dentistry, but is also considered a form of cosmetic dentistry.

People who have lost teeth might feel too self-conscious to smile or talk. Additionally, biting irregularities caused by tooth loss can have a negative effect on eating habits, leading to secondary health problems like malnutrition.

By replacing missing tooth roots, dental implants provide people with the strength and stability required to eat all the foods they love, without struggling to chew. Additionally, dental implants stimulate and maintain jaw bone, preventing bone loss and helping to maintain facial features.

Different types of implant below

Types of Dental Implants

Types of Dental Implants

Why do we loose teeth ?

Teeth are lost for a number of reasons and a number of factors can contribute

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canal failure
  • Gum disease (Periodontitis)
  • Trauma to the mouth (tooth injury)
  • Excessive wear and tear
  • Congenital defects

First have a consultation to discuss if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants as there are lots of factors to consider.

. During this appointment, your dental professional will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and evaluate bone density and quantity. This may involve X-rays and computer tomography scans (CT scans) to ensure there is sufficient bone structure for placing the implant(s), and to determine exactly where the implant should be placed.

Based on the condition of your oral tissues, oral hygiene and personal habits, and commitment to follow aftercare instructions, your dentist will advise you of the most appropriate dental implant treatment plan. During the consultation, options for local anesthesia  and sedation dentistry, if necessary, can also be discussed.

Other factors to consider

** Some patients with insufficient bone or gum tissue require bone or soft tissue grafts and/or the use of small diameter implants (also called mini implants).**

The Dental Implant Placement Procedure

Today’s dental implant restorations are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth. This appearance is aided in part by the structural and functional connection between the dental implant and the living bone. Implants are typically placed in a single sitting but require a period of osseointegration.

Osseointegration is the process by which the dental implant anchors to the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants are the most commonly used and successful type of dental implant. An osseointegrated implant takes anywhere from three to six months to anchor and heal, at which point your dentist can complete the procedure by placing a crown restoration. If osseointegration does not occur, the implant will fail.

Dental implantation, which is performed to replace missing teeth, can be done any time after adolescence or when bone growth is complete.** Certain medical conditions, such as active diabetes, cancer or periodontal disease, may require additional treatment before the implant procedure can be performed.**

  1. Preparing the Jaw for Implantation: A dental implant restoration is commonly composed of a titanium material screw and a crown. A small-diameter hole (pilot hole) is drilled at edentulous (where there is no tooth) jaw sites in order to guide the titanium screw that holds a dental implant in place.

  1. Placement of the Implant: After the initial pilot hole has been drilled into the appropriate jaw site, it is slowly widened to allow placement of the implant screw. Once in place, surrounding gum tissue is secured over the implant and a protective cover screw is placed on top to allow the site to heal and osseointegration to occur. After up to six months of healing, your dentist will uncover the implant and attach an abutment (which holds the crown or tooth-like replacement) to the implant. The process is completed when the temporary crown is replaced with a permanent crown.

Recovery

After dental implant surgery – what you can expect

For five to seven days after surgery, your diet should be restricted to soft foods. If stitches are present, they may need to be removed by your dentist.

If temporary crowns were placed along with the dental implant, it will be important to clean them as you would your natural teeth to ensure the best possible healing and fusing of the implant.

Failure to floss and brush is a leading cause of implant failure, and infection can occur if the implant and surrounding areas are not cleaned properly. Smoking also is attributed to high failure rates with dental implants and should be avoided following implant procedures.

If cared for properly, an implant restoration can remain in place for more than 40 years.

After the initial surgical procedure, discomfort should be minimal. Swelling of your gums and face may occur, as well as minor bleeding and bruising of the implant site. Prescription pain medications may be prescribed by your dentist to relieve any pain or discomfort you feel after the procedure.

Healing from the surgical procedure to place the dental implant(s) takes up to six months, while the fitting and seating of the crown(s) can take up to two months. Again, this timeframe depends on individual cases and treatments.

Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

tooth dental implant

This  is an x-ray of a dental implant with a crown in place. This case was performed by Dr. Declan Moloney

X-Ray Dental Implant

X-Ray Dental Implant

Dental implant in place

Dental implant and crown in place.

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