Dental implants have changed the face of dentistry over the past few decades. Despite improvements in dental care, millions of people suffer tooth loss, mostly due to tooth decay, periodontal disease, or injury. Most of them are not aware of dental implants, which is the most reliable treatment option for missing teeth today. In this article, I have tried to explain in detail the various aspects of dental implants.
Dental implants have changed the face of dentistry over the past few decades. Despite improvements in dental care, millions of people suffer tooth loss, mostly due to tooth decay, periodontal disease, or injury. Most of them are not aware of dental implants, which is the most reliable treatment option for missing teeth today. In this article, I have tried to explain in detail the various aspects of dental implants. Patients of all ages have chosen dental implants to replace a single tooth or several teeth or to support partial or full dentures. They function in a very similar way to the natural tooth.
What Are the Parts of a Dental Implant?
A standard dental implant consists of three parts:
What Are the Indications of Dental Implants?
What Is an Immediate Dental Implant?
Placement of implants immediately after removal of the teeth is called immediate dental implant. Your implantologist will look for a lot of factors before deciding on it.
What Are the Steps in Getting a Dental Implant?
After your implantologist studies the bone level and other parameters, he will decide what type of implants are suitable for you. There are a variety of implants available in the market based on their sizes, materials used to manufacture, shape and the time of placement of implants.
Prior to the placement of dental implants, the surgeon might ask you to get an X-ray of the area done or even a CBCT (a dental CT scan) to assess the bone in the area, as the screw has to be inserted into it and the level of bone is a major prerequisite for implant placement and its success.
A dental implant is placed in two to three steps. The first step is the placement of the titanium screw. This is done after preparing space for the insertion of screws just like how a screw is fixed onto the walls. Once the screw is placed, the doctor will check for the stability or the strength of the screws placed. This stage determines the period you will have to wait to receive a final crown on the implant.
If the bone level is adequate and the stability is satisfactory, the implantologist will place the abutment, and you will be able to receive the final crown in a very short time or maybe on the same day. For this to happen, the bone levels should be adequate which is not always the case.
If there is an inadequate amount of bone, the surgeon will still place an implant, place a bone graft material around it to regenerate the bone around the area so that the implant will receive support from it after the bone is completely formed. But you will not be able to receive a crown immediately or in a short period. Usually, patients will have to wait for 3 to 6 months until the bone forms and heals. Until then, you will be given a temporary crown (non-functional), and sometimes only a cover screw or a healing abutment is placed, which replicates the gum structure around the implant like a natural tooth to enhance esthetics and function.
Finally, after the placement of the abutment, an impression of the area will be taken to record the measurements and to manufacture the crown in the dental laboratory. The prepared crown will be placed over the abutment with dental adhesives. The titanium screw will mechanically and biologically bond to the bone and provide strength to the implant like a natural tooth root.
Unlike dentures, implants and crowns are not removed for overnight soaking and cleaning. You are a good candidate for dental implants if you are in good health and have healthy gums and adequate bone to support an implant.
Maintaining dental implant is not a difficult task. Repeated visits with a dentist and maintenance of proper oral hygiene are mandatory. Dental implants are placed by implantologist, periodontist, prosthodontists, and oral surgeons. The cost of dental implants varies in different countries.
Last reviewed at:
05 Apr 2019 - 3 min read
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