If you are missing one or more teeth or wear partial or full dentures, dental implants can be the perfect solution for permanent teeth. A dental implant procedure is series of minor operations through which a titanium screw that is placed in your jaw where it functions like a tooth root and stimulates the bone and tissue to keep them from disintegrating. An abutment is fastened to the implanted screw and an artificial tooth is attached to the abutment that protrudes from the gum. Once the artificial tooth is placed on the abutment, it looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth. Over a period of time, bone grows around the implant, thus helping it to be held in place.
Dental implants can also be used to secure partial or full dentures and instead of attaching an artificial tooth to the abutment, the dental plate or partial is fitted with an O-ring that snaps on to the abutment.
For a partial denture, as few as one implant may be needed and for full dentures, it will take four or more implants to securely hold the prosthesis in place. Implant-supported partials or dentures function just like normal teeth, allowing you to bite and chew just as you did with your permanent teeth, but the dentures can still be removed for cleaning.
Dental implant procedure takes place in stages over a couple of months.
- You would need to undergo scans and x-rays which will be useful for the dentist to get a clear picture.
- Dental implant is placed in the jaw bone.
- In a few months, the bone starts growing around the dental implant.
- Your dentist will create a foundation for the new tooth and also take a mould of your mouth.
- Artificial teeth are made and are cemented into the foundation previously created by the dentist.
Implants have many advantages over dentures.
- Natural and comfortable
- Improved chewing and bite
- Stronger restorative solution than dentures
- Permanent solution
- Prevents further cavities and tooth loss
- Preserves strength of the jaw bone