Frequently asked questions about dental implants

1. What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a prosthesis that replaces missing teeth. It is placed in the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone. Most of these implants are made up of titanium which will enable them to integrate with the bone. Once the titanium screw is inserted in jawbone, a crown, bridge or a denture can be attached to the screw. They are currently becoming the new standard in tooth replacement. 

2. What are denture implants?

A denture generally rests on the gum tissue and is not supported by implants. When a denture is supported and attached to implants, it is called denture implants. 

This type of denture is generally advised when the individual doesn’t have teeth in the jaw but has enough bone to support the implant. 

3. What are the types of dental implants?

There are 2 major types of dental implants. This includes

Endosteal: They are the most commonly used type of implant. Available in the form of small screws, and typically made up of titanium. These type of implant are placed in the jawbone

Subperiosteal: This kind of implant is generally used in patients with not enough jawbone and in those who do not want to undergo a bone augmentation procedure to rebuild it

4. How many missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants?

We can replace single or multiple teeth with implants. You don’t require an implant for every missing tooth. As less as 2 to 4 implants can support the upper or lower denture.

5. Is the surgical procedure for the placement of implants painful?

The implants are generally placed under local anesthesia, and the procedure is entirely painless. However post-operatively the patient might experience swelling and pain which can be relieved with pain killers

6. What are the advantages of dental implants?

1. One of the most significant benefits of a dental implant is that it mimics the natural tooth. Most of the individuals with implants can chew normally, & brush and floss that area as well. 

2. These dental implants can last a lifetime. It is biocompatible and is not rejected by the body

3. As the implants are anchored to the jawbone, they allow you to bite with more or less the same amount of force as that of the natural teeth

4. They are easy to care for; you can brush and floss it just like the way you would do it with the natural tooth

7. What are the disadvantages of dental implants?

Dental implants have quite a number of disadvantages when compared to other methods of replacing lost teeth. 

1. They are very expensive

2. Dental insurance does not generally cover the implant procedure

3. The implant needs to be placed in the bone, and this would require surgery and surgery always carries its risks. These risks include infection, delayed healing, damage to the adjacent teeth and nerve damage

8. Are there any contraindications for the placement of implants?

Certain conditions can cause the failure of the implants. Some of the risk factors you need to consider before placement of an implant includes

  • Smoking

  • Chronic alcoholism

  • Bruxism

  • Chronic diseases (Hypertension, diabetes)

  • Poor oral hygiene

9. What is the success rate of dental implants?

The success rate of dental implants varies from individual to individual. The factors that affect the success of these implants include pre-existing health conditions (diabetes, & hypertension), bone quality, physician expertise, and patient oral hygiene. A healthy individual with good oral hygiene has reported a success rate of 95-99%.

10. Can any dentist place a dental implant?

Dental implants are complicated dental devices that must be placed carefully in the jawbone to minimize complications or implant failure. If you want the most appropriate results, it is required that you choose an implantologist with proper training, education, and competence 

11. What are the precautions an individual should take after the placement of the implant?

Good oral hygiene and regular follow up with the dentist ensures the longevity of the implants. Make sure to brush and floss the implant prosthesis the same as that of a natural tooth. Improper oral hygiene can predispose them to infections leading to failure of the implant

12. Are dental implants expensive?

Dental implants are expensive than other teeth replacement methods like fixed bridges or dentures. These implants last longer than bridges or dentures and can be considered as a cost-effective long term investment for health and well being

13. Are dental implants safe? 

Dental implants, when placed in individuals with good health, are a safe procedure. These implants do not contain living cells and hence cannot be rejected by the body. Titanium which is used for making this implant is biocompatible, and allergies to this material are infrequent.

14. What are some of the dental implant problems?

There are several risks and complications associated with the placement of dental implants which should be considered and minimized. Some of them include

  • Infection at the site where the implant is placed

  • Injury to the adjacent teeth or nerves

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Gingival recession: The gingiva adjacent to the dental implant can recede, making it appear unaesthetic.

  • Sinus problems wherein the dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into the sinus cavities.

Dental implants before and after

dental-implants before and after.png

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