What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a method of restoring teeth, by implanting a screw into the jawbone as the base, followed by a prosthetic tooth on top. Dental implants are widely available in dental practices and can often have a designated dentist who performs the treatment. Any number of teeth can be replaced with a dental implant, from a single tooth, to every tooth.
When are dental implants needed?
Dental implants are needed when the root has been destroyed or lost, or there is no way of saving the original tooth, due to disease or damage. An implant is a permanent fixture, so it will work for life. The only time a replacement may be needed, is if the prosthetic tooth becomes worn down, however this will be easily replaced.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants work by drilling into the jawbone with a titanium screw, in order to secure the tooth in place. Due to the nature of the bone in the jaw, the bone will begin to grow around the screw and secure it even more strongly in place. A dentist will assess the structure of your teeth and help you determine whether dental implants are the best solution for you.
Can everyone get dental implants?
Not everyone is eligible for a dental implant. If there is not enough jawbone to facilitate the implant, then the treatment cannot be carried out. This could be due to gum disease or genetic factors. However, only a dentist will be able to determine whether you are eligible with the proper scans and tests. Dental implants can also be expensive, so for some people they may not be the most desirable option.
If you are not eligible for a dental implant, then you might be suitable for a zygomatic implant. Those who are not suitable for a dental implant, may be that way because their jawbone does not have enough strength to maintain the implant. Therefore, a zygomatic implant (which inserts into the cheekbones) may be an alternative option. As the cheekbones are considerably denser than jawbones, this means that the foundation of the dental implant is much stronger. However, zygomatic implants are an extremely advanced procedure, and not all dental practices will offer such a treatment.
Do dental implants hurt?
Dental implants will be administered under anaesthetic, so there will be no immediate pain when they are being put in. Dentists will also approach the dental implants with a sense of care and precision, so there should be no concern about brusqueness or trauma.
How long do dental implants take? Dental implants can take a long time, depending on how many are being implanted. Due to the delicate nature of the process, and its permanent nature, the treatment can take several months. This is because at several stages, the mouth must be left to recover from the process. Attempting to complete a dental implant in one go would be too traumatic for the mouth.