Dental implants are a popular option for those with missing teeth, and would like to replace them with a safe, effective, and durable solution. Dental implants are metal screws inserted into the bone of the patient’s jaw. They are then topped with dental crowns designed to look just like natural teeth.
The procedure is safe and allows people who have lost some teeth to replace them. They can then chew with the same pressure as they do with their natural teeth. When they smile, no one will know that a part of their smile isn’t real.
If this is your first time considering dental implants, you might have some questions and concerns about them. Let’s take a closer look at what dental implants are, along with some of the best practices.
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What are dental implants made of?
Dental implants are made of two parts: the post, and the dental crown. The post is usually made of titanium, because this material is highly biocompatible. This means it will be easy for titanium posts to fuse with a patient’s jawbone.
Dental posts can also be made from zirconium if the patient is allergic to titanium. The dental crown of an implant can be made from ceramic or porcelain. It is designed to match the shape and the colour of the patient’s natural teeth.
Is it possible to get a few teeth replaced at the same time?
Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth, or a full arch. If you have just one missing tooth, you can replace it with one implant. If you want to replace a full arch denture with dental implants, you will get 4 or 6 posts inserted into your jawbone, and these posts will serve as anchors for your arch.
How long will dental implants last?
The posts of dental implants should last a lifetime. However, the dental crowns will eventually wear out and should last between 15 and 20 years. Good dental hygiene will help them last longer, but their location inside your mouth will determine their longevity. Implants located in the back of the mouth will usually wear out faster than the ones that are part of your smile.
What is the usual procedure to get dental implants?
Although it’s possible, in certain situations, to get dental implants installed in one day, the procedure usually takes more time than that.
First, the patient’s gums will be numbed by local anesthesia. A hole will be drilled in the patient’s jawbone, and the post of the implant will be inserted. The patient will then have to wait between 3 to 6 months for the implant to integrate with the bone before being fitted with a dental crown.
While the implant heals, however, the post will be covered by a temporary cap. This precaution will keep the implant safe while the gums heal and will allow the patient to chew normally. While the dental crown is properly fitted, the dental implant will be permanent. Unlike dentures, it can’t be removed once it has been installed.
What is a dental implant passport?
A patient who has received dental implants will also receive a dental implant passport. This is simply a medical document that contains detailed information about the implants, such as their serial number, their origin, and their position in the patient’s mouth.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
A good candidate for dental implants is someone who has good dental hygiene, and healthy gums. But the most important factor might be the quality and the quantity of the patient’s jawbone.
Bone loss can occur as we age or result from trauma. Patients who have been wearing dentures for years are very likely to have experienced bone loss. If a patient doesn’t have enough jawbone left, it will be impossible for them to receive implants, as the dental posts need to be fused with a healthy jawbone for the procedure to be successful.
What can I do if I don’t have enough jawbone?
If you are interested in getting dental implants, but you don’t have enough jawbone, it’s possible for you to first get a bone graft. After a bone graft, however, it will take a few months for the new bone to heal before the dental posts can be inserted. You might also need a sinus lift, which is a procedure that adds some bone in the patient’s upper jaw, while making sure the posts of the implants will not invade the sinus cavity.
What can I expect after getting dental implants?
After getting your dental implants, you can expect pain, soreness, and swelling. These side effects will probably last at least a few days, and if you can take over-the-counter medication to relieve the pain, you have to avoid taking Aspirin, which would increase the risk of bleeding.
You will have to avoid eating hot and spicy foods after the procedure. You should also avoid cigarettes and alcohol, to speed up the healing process.