A dental implant is basically a replacement root for a tooth. They are frames or metal posts which are surgically placed in the jawbone under the gums. After they are in place, the dentist can mount replacement teeth on them. They are often used in place of dentures and can be permanent or removable replacement teeth.
Purpose of Dental Implants
According to Markham dentist Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth but there are also several advantages to having them. Here are the primary benefits to having dental implants:
- Improve your Appearance – Dental implants tend to look and feel like natural teeth. Since they are fused to the bone they are permanent and look natural.
- Improve your Speech – Dentures can clip and cause your words to be slurred. Implants will allow for normal speech without the slipping.
- Improve your Comfort – Since a dental implant becomes part of your body, they will be much more comfortable than dentures.
- Make Eating Easier – A dental implant will act just like your natural teeth which allows you to eat without pain. Dentures can slide around and make chewing a difficult task.
- Improve your Self Esteem – Once you get dental implants you will have your natural smile back and you will feel better about yourself.
- Improve your Oral Health – When you get a bridge that is supported by other teeth, it can reduce them somewhat. A dental implant won’t have this effect. Nearby teeth are not used or altered in order to provide support for the implant so your teeth are all left intact. This will improve your overall oral health and allow for proper oral hygiene.
- Durability – If they are taken care of, dental implants can last for many years.
- Convenient – Dentures are removable, which can be embarrassing. Dental implants are permanent and don’t require the use of adhesives to help ensure they stay in place.
Types of Dental Implants
There are just two types of dental implants the American Dental Association considers to be safe. They include:
- Endosteal Implants
- Subperiosteal Implants
Endosteal implants are implanted surgically right into the jawbone. After the gums have healed, a second surgery is performed to connect a post to the implant. Lastly, an artificial tooth is attached to the post. Subperiosteal implants are constructed using a metal frame which is fitted directly on the jawbone just underneath the gums. The gums start to heal and “grows” the frame to the jawbone so that is becomes fixed. The posts will protrude out of from the gums and then the artificial teeth are mounted on the posts.
Success of Dental Implants
The specific success of a dental implant can vary depending on the exact location of the jaw its relation to the implant. Generally speaking, dental implants are very successful and their success rate is near 98%. As long as they are cared for properly, they could last for the rest of your life. They are more expensive than dentures, but also more durable.
Oral Hygiene Care for Implants
Dental implants are replacements of natural teeth that do not impact the teeth adjacent to them. Like natural teeth, the longevity of dental implants depends heavily on the stability of the bone and soft tissues around them. It is important to take care of dental implants the same way you would natural teeth, including brushing, interdental cleaning and regular dental appointments.
A common misunderstanding with dental implants is that it is not made of natural tooth structures so there is little to no maintenance. The oral hygiene routine should be similar to that of natural tooth, with specific changes depending on the type of dental implant you have. Your dental professionals will monitor and reinforce your oral hygiene instructions.
Dental implants may come in various forms – as a single unit, multiple or used as an anchor for dentures to click into, providing better stability and comfort.
After the procedure, the soft tissues in the area will be tender. Do not avoid brushing the adjacent teeth as it is important to keep the site clean to avoid any infection or irritation. For implant-supported dentures, patients should remove them at night to be brushed thoroughly – do not forget to gently brush the attachment anchors sitting in the gums as well. Avoid using abrasive toothpaste to brush the overdenture to prevent micro-scratches that would attract more bacteria and plaque. Denture cleaning tablets can also be used to decrease odours.
For single implants, floss as you would natural teeth. For removable overdentures, brush the dentures and anchors well after removal. For fixed dentures, brushing in addition to irrigation with a water- or air-flosser would help with more food debris and plaque removal. To floss around the anchors, floss threaders and/or GUM EasyThread Floss, Oral-B Superfloss GUM Soft-Picks or proxabrushes would be great options to navigate around implants without damage to the gums.
Patients often neglect cleaning the tongue. The surface of the tongue is composed of small finger-like projections that can trap bacteria and odours. It is important to brush or scrape the tongue to remove food debris and plaque to help keep the oral cavity clean.