Dental implants can be an effective method to replace one tooth or several teeth. Each implant consists of a metal anchor that is inserted into the jawbone, and a protruding post, which is outfitted with an artificial tooth.
Implants can also support a bridge, replace a partial denture or secure a fixed denture. The process requires surgery and may take up to a year to complete.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist or Periodontist – a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile.
Dental implants are very strong, stable and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, the connecting screws need to be retightened and the crown on top of the implant may need to be replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants
- Replace one or more missing 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.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.
I have been more than satisfied with my implant treatment. Everything is explained beforehand. The treatment is painless. I have had a lot of work done and I am not frightened of coming to a dentist anymore! The girls are kind and friendly.
Zygomatic Dental Implants
Zygomatic implants are offered to those patients who have very little remaining bone in the upper jaw where placement of normal dental implants is not possible. In such difficult situations the patients can either have bone grafting procedure carried out or alternatively can have zygomatic dental implants which offers a quicker and better long term solution of fixed bridge involving minimal surgical procedures at reduced treatment time, without scarifying their expectations of success.
In such difficult clinical situations, Zygomatic implants, in combination with at least two regular implants will offer adequate support for a fixed restoration as depicted in the diagram below.