Dental implants are the second-best to natural teeth. It serves both utility and aesthetic purposes. The procedure allows you to live confidently without worrying about slip, click and biting irregularities while using teeth. Though there are other options available like dentures and bridges when it comes to tooth repair, dental implants provide long term stability and feel just like natural teeth. Here's all that you need to know about dental implant services.
What is a Dental Implant?
It refers to a surgical procedure to place titanium posts on or into the jawbone, facilitating teeth replacement.
The procedure of dental implants starts with examining the quality and quantity of the jawbone by the dentist. This helps to determine which method will be best suited for the patient. The site being considered for the implant is assessed by studying dental images (X-rays or CT scans).
a. Tooth Extraction- It is essential to clear the implanting area by extracting the damaged tooth. This is followed by placing a synthetic bone to provide a strong base for the implant. In case there is a total absence of bone, a stronger bone graft is used. The bone graft takes more than six months to heal as against the synthetic bone which heals within two to six months.
b. Sinus augmentation- This procedure is carried for the upper jaw implants where the bone area is less. For this, the dentist creates more space on the jawbone by lifting the sinus, facilitating the implant.
With the availability of a strong base, the dentist drills titanium posts into the bone places a healing cap and stitches the gum to enable the healing process. For the protection and esthetical purposes, a temporary denture can also be used. Also, it is necessary to get the implant examined regularly to avoid any infections.
4. Fitting the crown
The dentist tests the healed area and determines its fitness for the implant. Confirming its strength, the dentist fixes a prosthetic component called “abutment” that serves as a holder for the crown. The dentist takes an impression of the abutment and prepares the crown. The crown is either cemented or screwed in the abutment.
There are mainly two types of Implants:
1. Endosteal Implant
In this, the implant is directly placed on the jawbone. Once the gum tissue heals, a post is fixed to the original implant followed by fixation of a crown, artificial tooth or denture. The implant can either be in blade or root form, depending on the quality and amount of the patient's jawbone.
2. Subperiosteal implants
This involves placing a metal frame on the jawbone and under the gums. As the metal frame fixes on jawbone, the posts jut out of the gums and provide the base for the fixation of artificial teeth. This implant is best suited for those who do not have enough jawbone.
Though dental implants overcome the disadvantages of the conventional approaches of tooth replacements, there are some risks associated with the procedure. It includes:
- Infections and allergies
- Bleeding disorders
- Fracture of dental implant
- Poor positioning and overloading of dental implants
Also, the effectiveness of the procedure may suffer due to the patient's poor quality of bones and other medical conditions. However, an experienced dentist can overcome these by proper planning and medications.
A single dental implant can cost about $3,000 to $4,500, depending on the steps involved in the procedure of the implant. This cost involves everything from tooth extraction to placement of the crown. Despite the 98% success rate of the procedure, most of the dental insurance policy does not cover the implants, considering it to be an elective procedure.
Dental implants have a risk of developing inflammation around the surrounding gum and bone. Proper oral hygiene and regular dentist visits are necessary to maintain the durability of dental implants.