Dental implants are artificial tooth roots usually made of titanium, used to replace the root of the natural tooth. Bridges can be used when a single tooth is lost. For those who have lost more than one tooth, removable partial dentures can be given. In cases where there is a complete absence of teeth, complete dentures with or without implants can be given.
The advantages of dental implants include:
- Improved facial appearance
- Improved speech
- Easier eating
- Improved self-esteem
- Improved oral health
- Long lasting
Dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone. The procedure is performed under general or local anaesthesia. Your oral surgeon or implantologist then exposes the bone by making incision. The implant is placed inside the jawbone; the incision is then stitched back. The titanium in the implants fuses with your jawbone. It requires a healing period of about 3- 6 months. The crown is then placed over the implant.
Implants can be Rejected
Some implants fail because the bone has not integrated sufficiently with the implant surface. Hence, implants are not “rejected” like an organ transplant; they simply fail to bond with the bone. This may occur if the bone is very soft at the time the implant is placed or if the implant is initially unstable. Other reasons include inadvertent loading of the implant via a removable denture or by the action of chewing hard food over the implant site during the early stages of healing. Infection may also cause an implant to be lost. Most modern implant systems report success rates of 85-95% over a 5 to 15 years period.
Smoking and Implants do not Mix
Smoking affects the healing of bone and soft tissue by reducing the nutrients and minerals in the tissues as well as reducing the blood supply. This means that smoking is one of the biggest risk factors in failure of dental implants. Recent studies estimate that the chances of failure increase by two to three fold in a smoker. Gum and bone like a warm, moist environment and smoking produces a hot, dry environment.
Denture Stabilisation by Implants
Because the majority of denture patients are senior-aged, finances and general health are often major points of concern when discussing implant treatment. This illustrates why mini dental implants to be such a good treatment option. These can be placed in a flapless procedure and immediately loaded. They also require less bone width and height for patients to be suitable candidates. The time investment is significantly less, as a typical mandibular denture stabilisation with four mini dental implants can be completed in less than two hours.
Soreness is reduced as compared to traditional implants, and patients can snap their denture onto their new implants and feel the added stability immediately.