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Osseointegrated Implants

Osseointegrated Implants

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is essentially a sophisticated titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth.  The implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw, allowed to bond with the bone and serves as an anchor for the replacement tooth.  Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.  Implant supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. They preserve the integrity of the facial structure and reduce the inconveniences associated with tooth loss.

Who is a suitable candidate for dental implants?

Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, gum disease, or decay may be a candidate for dental implants.

Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. Your surgeon will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history. At this time all your questions can be answered.

Who is a suitable candidate for dental implants?

Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, gum disease, or decay may be a candidate for dental implants.

Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. Your surgeon will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history. At this time all your questions can be answered.

How will I benefit from the dental implants?

  • Improved appearance: When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone begins to resorb, making the face look older.  Dental implants can stop this process. 
  • Improved speech: With ill-fitting dentures, the teeth slip and slide around the mouth.  The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the denture in place.  This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises.  The implant supported replacement teeth allow you to speak with confidence in a relaxed and natural tone.
  • Convenience: Dental implants can eliminate the embarrassing inconveniences of removal partial and full dentures.  There is no need for gooey denture adhesives that must be applied throughout the day.  You will no longer need to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile or fear that the dentures may fall out.
  • Improved self-esteem: Dental implants will improve your self-esteem and you will feel better about yourself.  Many of the patients already treated with dental implants have experienced this.  You can regain nearly all your capabilities you had with natural teeth, giving you renewed confidence.
  • Eat Better: The average denture patient with an excellent fitting denture eats at 15-20% efficiency when compared to a person with natural teeth.  As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduced even more, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants, on the other hand, can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth. This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
  • Great value: Although dental implant treatment may initially be more expensive than other treatment methods it often turns out to be the best investment from a long term perspective since most patients can expect them to last a life time. Other treatment methods like bridges and dentures often requires regular alterations and replacements over time.
  • Lifelong tooth replacement: Naturally, every treatment case presents unique conditions that can affect the longevity of a dental implant and no man-made product lasts forever. However, most patients who are treated with dental implants should be able to expect lifelong replacement for their lost teeth.

 

How long do implants last?

Implants are not susceptible to cavities, but they can develop gum disease if not cared for properly. Just like natural teeth, the implant needs to be kept clean and checked by your dentist at regular intervals. If cared for properly, most implants (the titanium screw portion) will provide a lifetime of service, although the crown or appliance attached to the implant may need to be replaced from wear and tear.

As a cost comparison, if you have a missing tooth and decide to have it replaced with a bridge, you can assume that the bridge will need to be replaced every 15 years (which is a conservative estimate). Compared to the cost of placing an implant, replacing the bridge several times over the course of a lifetime could cost four or five times as much as having the implant done. This does not even take into consideration the fact that the teeth used to support a bridge will very likely develop problems of their own over time

How long does the treatment take to complete?

The complete implant reconstruction process may take from 4 to 9 months and in some cases longer. Time is needed for your jawbone to grow around the implant and for your replacement teeth to be made. Procedures vary, but it usually includes a surgical procedure and then the restoration is fabricated.

How is the treatment carried out?

STEP 1: IMPLANT PLACEMENT
Using regular dental anesthetic, the surgeon lifts the gum tissue away and performs a precise and gentle technique to place the dental implant fixture into the jawbone. The gum is repositioned and sutured. Most patients experience no major discomfort after the procedure.

STEP 2: OSSEOINTEGRATION PERIOD
The dental implant fixture will be left undisturbed in the jawbone for a period of four to six months. During this time, the bone attaches to the implant and OSSEOINTEGRATION takes place. Depending on the case type, a temporary removable denture may be worn to preserve cosmetics.

STEP 3: ABUTMENT CONNECTION
Once osseointegration of the implant is complete, the surgeon exposes the top of the implant and attaches a post or abutment. This abutment passes through the gum and ultimately supports the new tooth.

STEP 4: FINAL PROSTHETIC RESTORATION
An impression of the implant will be taken and the dental surgeon will work with the lab technician to make the new implant-supported tooth. The final prosthetic tooth can be screwed to place or cemented. The new tooth is firmly anchored into the bone and gums, and will look and feel just like a natural tooth.

What can I expect after the surgery?

The actual procedure to surgically place a dental implant is done under local anesthesia and is generally not at all painful. When the anesthesia wears off about three or four hours later, you might expect some discomfort.

The level of discomfort is quite different from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort which may last for several days. Swelling and bruising may also develop.

In cases where there is prolonged pain, you should see your dentist right away. Prolonged pain is not a good sign with dental implants and although it does not always mean failure, the cause of the pain should be determined as soon as possible. If an implant is not properly integrating into the adjacent bone or if an infection develops, the implant may have to be removed.

How do I maintain the implants?

Long-term success of implants depends on how well they are maintained. Periodontal disease can strike when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned. If left untreated bone loss, which weakens supporting structures, can lead to loss of dental implants as well as tooth loss.

Brushing: Your dentist may recommend a cordless electric toothbrush. Whether you use a standard brush or electric toothbrush, your dentist and hygienist will review your brushing techniques to ensure that you are cleaning the area properly.

Oral Irrigation Systems: Research has shown that oral irrigation is effective in reducing plaque accumulation around dental implants and natural teeth. Your dentist may also suggest that you use a special mouth rinse.

Flossing: Good home care includes daily flossing. Floss threaders are very helpful in allowing you to reach around implants, under bridges and bars so these areas can be easily cleaned.

Interproximal Brushes: These small dental brushes, also called "Proxy Brushes", are specifically designed to clean between the teeth and implants. While not a replacement for dental floss they are helpful in cleaning hard to reach areas.

Dental Visits: It is typically recommended that patients visit their dentist for professional cleanings every 3-6 months. However, your dentist will design a dental visit program specifically for you.

For further information please follow this link.

Tags: dental implants, osseointegrated implants

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