Dental Implant 101
Dental implantation procedure
A dental implantation procedure includes:
- Implant placement. The implant post is planted into the jaw bone, serving as a root. Depending on your bone thickness and the size of your gap, your dentist will pick a suitable implant for you.
- Abutment. The abutment is screwed into the implant post to support the crown or the bridge.
- Tooth replacement. The crown or bridge will be secured into place with screws or cement.
Dental implants are highly biocompatible with the human body; therefore; they won’t cause you any harm.
Why should you get dental implants?
Conventional options for dental restoration come with considerable disadvantages, such as:
- Dentures: Dentures may get in the way of how your mouth normally works. They may impair your chewing function, reduce your appetite, interfere with pronunciation. Also, the hooks may damage your real teeth. The natural resorption process of the jaw bone will eventually the denture fails to fit properly and you will need to adjust it or make a new one.
- Bridges: Bridges offer an almost similar chewing function to real teeth. However, the adjacent teeth must be filed down so they can wear the crowns and act as posts. Bone loss will occur under the bridge, affecting the appearance of the bridge.
Meanwhile, dental implants provide various advantages such as:
- Dental restoration for all cases of missing teeth.
- The number of implants and the number of missing teeth don’t have to be the same.
- Dental implants look exactly like real teeth with roots and crowns, thus may perform well both cosmetically and functionally.
- Dental implants are sturdy. They neither move nor fall off which is why they don’t interfere with pronunciation and communication.
- There’s no need to file down real teeth when getting dental implants.
- Dental implants prevent bone loss at the roots, loss of facial muscle control, drooping lips and cheeks, maintaining facial structure, appearance, and youthfulness.
- Lower your risk of oral diseases such as cavities and gum inflammation.
- Gustatory perception is preserved.
- Dental implants don’t cause as much discomfort as other dental treatments.
- Dental implants may last a lifetime.
- The success rate of dental implants is 95%, much higher than that of other procedures.
How painful are dental implants?
Dental implantation isn’t painful and is gentler than tooth extraction as it only requires local anesthesia. After the procedure, you may feel mildly uncomfortable as you’re not used to it yet. However, your dentist will give you a prescription to make it better. You can go back to your daily schedule on the next day.
How long does a dental implant procedure usually take?
Depending on the condition of your bone and gum, the location of the missing tooth and your bite alignment, procedure duration may vary:
- Healthy bone and gum: Implant placement and restoration may be done in 1 day to 4 weeks.
- Mild loss of bone and gum: After bone graft and implant placement, the restoration will be completed after 3 to 6 months.
- Severe loss of bone and gum: Bone graft is done first. After 6 to 9 months, implant placement will be carried out. Then, 6 months later, restoration will be completed.
How long do dental implants last?
With proper oral care and follow-up visits, dental implants can last a lifetime. Many dental implants last over 40 years.
Is dental implant rejection possible?
There has not been any report of dental implant rejection because titanium, the metal used to make implant posts, is proved to be highly compatible with the human body.
How many dental implant systems are there?
To date, there are around 20 dental implant systems in the world. The differences include the shapes and their popularity.