Artificial tooth roots that are drilled into your jaw to support any tooth replacement or bridges are called dental implants. Titanium rods are generally used to manufacture the dental implants. The implants can be used to support dentures, bridges or crowns. They function in a similar manner as tooth roots that support the teeth.
Your general and oral health need to be excellent for you to qualify for this procedure. You need sufficient jaw bone to support the implant. In addition, your gums should be free from any periodontal disease or infection. The procedure is excellent for tooth loss following periodontal disease, injury or other causes. Some dentists may decline to carry out the procedure on patients who smoke. The success of the procedure may also be compromised if the patient has had radiotherapy
Usually the procedure may take more than one visit to the dentist. Some patients may need several months to complete treatment. Part of the jaw where the implant is to be fitted has to be drilled. An abutment will be attached to your jaw once your gum has healed. This holds the false tooth in place. An implant can be used as a support for one or more teeth.
Your dentist may recommend having some X- rays done to ascertain whether your bone thickness and shape are ideal. The X-ray s will also indicate the exact position of other structures in your mouth like nerves. CT scans may be required in case the information is insufficient.
Local anesthesia is usually required to perform the dental implant procedure. This shields your mouth from pain and enables you to stay awake during the procedure. To ease off anxiety and help you relax, you may require a sedative. In isolated cases you may need to undergo the procedure under general anesthesia. This will make you sleep during the operation.
The number of implants you receive will determine the duration of the entire operation. Complicated procedures will also require additional time.
Immediate implants are put into your tooth socket immediately following tooth removal. Immediate delayed implants are fitted once your tooth has been allowed a few weeks to heal. Delayed implants are fitted into your mouth after several months once your jaw has had sufficient time to heal. Whether your procedure involves delayed or immediate implants, both can be done in a single or two stage procedures.
In a single stage procedure, the implant rod and abutment are fitted in the same operation. The abutment is the joint that connects the implant to the false teeth. In two-stage treatment procedures, implant rods and abutments are fitted in different operations. The abutment is usually fitted a few months after the implant to allow your mouth time to heal. In the meantime, partial dentures or temporary bridges can be used to conceal the spaces between your teeth.
Upon healing a second operation is required to uncover the gum, covering the implant. Your artificial tooth or teeth will then be fitted onto the implant. The teeth may either be fixed in place or made removable to allow easy cleaning.