Dental Implants

In the simplest terms, dental implantsare very small metalfixtures, surgicallyplaced into jaw, which replace the roots of missing teeth. The dentist then positionsand attaches a bridge, or multiple or individual artificial teeth known as crowns, to each post. Implants are comprised of either pure titanium or an alloy thereof. Titanium, which is highly corrosion-resistant and is most widely known for having a tensile strength far greater than steel, is also unique in that the human body adapts wellto its presence without causing the body s immune system to react, in turn allowing the tissues to heal well. Themicroscopically roughened surface of each implant helps the bone tissue to bond with and grow onto it, providing a strong, stable replacement root, or anchor, for the artificial tooth or bridge to secure to.The result is that dental implants last for several years, provided the patient brushes, flosses, and maintains overall good oral health, including regular checkups with her or his dental health care professional.

How long do dental implants last?More than 30 years of studies conducted have found that patients who were missing all of their teeth had an 80- to 90-percent success rate.For those patients who were missing one to several teeth, the success rate for implantshas been over 95 percent.These results clearly show that dental implants are a safe, proven method ofreplacing teeth lost to decay, injury, or extractionpermanently.In some instances,it may necessary to removea dental implant if it eitherbecomes loose or does not heal properly.However, even in these cases,it is usually possible to place another implant usually after the site has healed. There are cases whereit is possible to replace the implant with another onthe same day.

What is involved?Installing, or placing implants requiresa relatively minor surgical procedure, butto ensure maximum sterility and patient comfort, the procedure is done in a hospital-style operating room, using the latest operating instruments and equipment. The dentist or oral surgeon willmaking sure that each patient understands the process by discussing the procedure in detail, and educating each patient. Local and general anesthesia are both available.

Placing dental implants necessitates two separate procedures, or phasesin most cases. In the first phase, the oral surgeon will incise the gingiva (gum)at the site of implant placementand create asmall,precise opening in the jaw, thenplace the implant. When completed, the doctor will suture the gum closed over each implant. The implant is allowed to bond to the bone tissue of the jawin most cases.In most cases, this takes three to six months. During this time, the patient should be able to use temporary

dentures,eating a soft diet. Also during this time, the dentist ordersthe creation of thereplacement teeth.The complete implantprocedure is actually a professional collaboration.The oral surgeon performs the implant surgery itself, and the dentist performs any needed tooth extraction and bone grafting as well as measuring for and creating the prosthesis (crown or bridge). The dentist also will make any temporaryprosthesis for the patient to wear until the implant has bonded.

After the implant has bonded and during the second portion of the implant procedure, the doctor will make avery small incision in the gingiva overeach implant, then install a miniscule, threaded titanium post into each one. The bridge or crown attaches onto each post.Once that is done, the postscannot be seen,and the result looks exactly like natural teeth!

Does it take this long for everyone? Well, not necessarily. Incorporating literally the latest advances in dentistry, 7 Day Dental s doctors in some cases are able to place dental implants in one procedure, referred to assingle-stage implants. There are actually circumstances where it is possible to place implants immediately after tooth extraction. While this minimizes the number of surgical procedures, it still requires a minimum of six weeks of healing before placing artificial teeth or a bridge.As more advances in dentistry occur, it is likely that the overall time required to place implants will decrease further.

Are you a candidate for implants? You very likely mightwell be. A viable candidate is typicallyanyone who is missing one or more teeth, orwho is unhappy wearing dentures. An oral examination is necessary first, as well as athorough review of a patient s dental and medical history. While age is not a drawback, some diseases such as diabetes, radiation therapyat the implant site, and smoking haveall proven to reduce the success rate of implants. At the same time, there are treatments to improve the outcome.In many cases bone grafting can enhancethe process by adding jawbone mass, which in turnplays a vital part in the bonding of the implant.Implants placement becomes more difficult and complex, however, the longer a tooth is missing.

Should you seriously consider implants? This is a question only you can decide, but here are some things for you to consider. Your teeth can affect your whole body and your quality of life. For starters, missing teeth can affect how you speak, how you eat, and how you look. If you are missing teeth, the teeth that are left are going to work harder to do the job of chewing that your whole set of teeth used to do.This usually always causes them to wear out prematurely or to become damaged. Teeth that are missing can also cause headaches and jaw pain, because the inability to masticate (chew) properly often causes

improper digestion of food due to swallowing un-chewed food, in some casescausing indigestion, which can be serious or even fatal in extreme cases, and overworks jaw muscles.Who wants to have a deteriorating appearance,in addition to deteriorating health? In addition to weight loss associated with improperly digested food, missing teeth can cause the cheeks to appear sucked in, which makes a person look gaunt and malnourished. Also, the natural consequence of missing teeth is the assimilation of the jawbone tissue. This means that the body absorbs the area of jawbone around the missing tooth, reducing the bone density in that area by up to about 25 percent in the first year alone. In more graphic terms, the jaw literally dissolves away. This happens because the jawbonewhere the missing tooth wasno longer receives the stimulation caused by the force of chewing which,in a healthy mouth, causes jawbone cell replacement.

The best news is that dental implants can correct most problems caused by missing or damaged teeth.Implants help to preservefacial structure,as well as the bone structure of the jaws. They replace natural teeth, in form and function, enabling you to eat properly and to feel and look your best, and they last for decades. If you are missing teeth or having an extraction, consider dental implants. Your dental health care professional willfullyexplain the process to you.He or she will discuss all options with you, and base any recommendation on your particular medical and dental condition, ensuring you have a thorough understanding of the procedure, which will enable you to make an informed decision.

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