Dental implants are artificial tooth roots. They replace the portion of the tooth that is beneath the gum line. Usually, they are used together with crowns, which you can put on top of them, to have an entire tooth replaced. This method of dental prosthesis is the only one which will lead to the prevention of further tooth loss. The alveolar or soft tissue disintegrates when there is no tooth root in it, and this is why dental implants were invented.
A dental implant consist of
With implants one or more teeth can be replaced, even an entire arch.
The appropriate solutions
During the first visit you will have a consultation where different options will be looked at and a treatment plan will be made. If you still have the tooth, or remains of the tooth you wish to have replaced, you need to get it extracted.
After checking your oral condition, there are two possible situations, about which your dentist will inform you. One of them is that you are ready for implantation, or will be once the extraction site has completely healed. The second is that you do not have enough bone material, or gum, or are in need of a sinus lift. A bone graft is in order if you have low bone density or have had the tooth missing for a longer time. A gum graft is only in order if you are suffering from periodontal disease. A sinus lift needs to be performed if you have had a tooth missing in your upper jaw for a time long enough for your sinus cavity to enlarge and become too close to your roots. All of these procedures are invasive surgeries, and should be treated as such. If the dentist determines one of these procedures is necessary, they may require additional healing time. If not, you can get the implant inserted into your jaw upon your next visit.
During the first phase of the treatment the titanium dental implant is inserted into your jaw bone, which is a surgical procedure lasting for 20-25 minutes. The procedure occurs under local anaesthetic. To prevent infections during the healing period (which lasts up to 4 months) we place a healing cap on top of the implant itself.
During the second visit, 2-6 months after the initial implantation, the implant will be uncovered and the abutment will be placed on top of the implant itself. The crown, which is the same colour and shape as the living teeth next to it, will be adhered to the abutment. Please note that implantation can only occur if the patient’s jaw bone has enough bone density to house the implant!
Sadly, certain conditions may determine that you are simply not eligible for an implant. Osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases of the bone tissue can make it entirely impossible for you to get a dental implant, even with a bone graft. If you are suffering from severe and/or acute periodontitis you may also not be eligible for a dental implant. If you are a severe haemophiliac, or have blood borne diseases or your blood has trouble clotting, you may not be eligible for a dental implant.