WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Implants are artificial tooth roots (screws), made of pure titanium or titanium-alloy, which are inserted (anchored) into the jaw, where they perform the function of the natural tooth that has been lost.
WHERE IT CAN BE PLACED?
It can be placed wherever teeth are missing. It can be for a single tooth , multiple teeth by an implant supported partial or full arch fixed bridge, all teeth replaced with a implant supported removable overdenture.
HOW IMPLANTS CAN BE DONE?
The first stage is a surgical phase which involves the placement of the titanium implant in the jaw bone. This is followed by a healing resting phase of 3-6 months.
The second stage is the restorative/prosthetic phase, where the tooth is placed over the anchored implant using it as a support/pillar.
An incision/cut is made in the gum where the implant will be placed under local anesthesia.
A hole/channel is drilled in the bone using special implant drills
The implant is placed/anchored into the channel in the bone.
The incision is stitched.
After healing phase, implant head is exposed by a tissue punch. Another metallic component, called an abutment, is screwed on top of the exposed implant head. The abutment is used to support a hollow crown.
The hollow crown, which is made to look like a natural tooth, is cemented or screwed onto the abutment.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF IMPLANTS OVER OTHER TOOTH REPLACEMENT PROCEDURES?
- Implants are better than a fixed bridge, as it preserves the adjacent teeth from unnecessary grinding.
- It gives more confidence during eating and smiling as it gives the effect of emerging from the jaw as a natural tooth.
- Implants with overdenture are better as it gives more stability.
- It also helps in preserving the underlying bone and maintains the function of the overlying musculature.
WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF IMPLANTS?
Implants may fail in
- patients with uncontrolled diabetes.
- Patients who are heavy smokers.
- Patients with compromised systemic diseases or anatomical limitations.
WHAT ARE THE SUCCESS RATE OF IMPLANTS?
If done by an expert, as per guidelines, then implants have a success rate of around 95%.
ARE IMPLANTS EXPENSIVE?
- Cost of the implants depends on the brand of implant placed and the health of the patient’s mouth, jaw and gums.
- Dental implants rarely fail if done scientifically by a trained personnel.