Despite great advancements in dental care, millions of people suffer tooth loss- commonly because of tooth decay or gum disease. For a long time, bridges and dentures were the only treatment options that were available for people with tooth injury and missing teeth. However, now dental implants are quite popular. The procedure has been there since the mid-1960s, though its use has become more widespread recently only.
What are Dental Implants?
The very thought of losing your front tooth can be devastating. Thankfully, a dental implant comes as the right treatment option to save you from all the embarrassment and disgrace. A dental implant is replacement tooth root that is used to support your false teeth. It is a titanium anchor that is surgically fused in the jaw bone to provide solid foundation for replacement teeth. The new tooth is then fixed to the implant using an abutment connector and a screw. For the most natural-looking, long-term results, dental implants should be used.
Is the Treatment Painful?
There can be a little discomfort with the entire procedure, just as with any other surgery. Oral sedation or/and local anesthesia are provided to purge any sort of discomfort associated with dental implants procedure. After the surgery, your dentist will prescribe medications to do away with any sort discomfort.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Tooth restored with this procedure appear and work like natural teeth. They are quite durable and they do not develop cavities. But, you need to brush and floss them regularly. And even visit your dentists for cleanings and timely check-ups, just like you care for a natural tooth.
The treatment, however, is not a quick one. It usually involves a few steps:
· Comprehensive Examination
After telling you all the potential treatment options available to you, your doctor will properly examine your mouth. To assess the condition of your bone tissue, an X-Ray will be done. This will also make it easier for your doctor to locate the positions of nerves that are close to the implant site. Rarely, if an X-Ray is not sufficient, a CT scan is done to take three-dimensional images. All this is important to locate the actual drill site and avoid complications that can harm jaw structure.
· Implant Surgery
A small incision is drilled in the appropriate location that is slowly widened to fix the implant screw. And afterwards a protective cover, generally called a healing cap, is placed on the top so that the implant site can heal. The implant gets anchored in 3-6 months after which the healing cap is removed. Thereafter, a permanent attachment/abutment is placed on top of the implant, for the gum to take the shape around. After the process is done, a permanent crown is cemented over the dental implants.
Your dentist will tell you how to care for your dental implant. A well-placed and cared implant can last a lifetime. So you and your dentist need to work as a team to assure longevity of the dental implant.