Introduction to Dental Implants
A dental implant is a structure that replaces a missing tooth or partial or complete jaws with missing teeth. With the use of screw-like devices, the surgeon inserts an implant into the jawbone, and it acts as an anchor for holding an artificial tooth, called a crown.
Advantages over dentures
Implants have several advantages over dentures which are removable artificial teeth on the other hand implants are fixed, some advantages are mentioned below
- Implants are more natural and comfortable
- Implants have a higher success rate than dentures
- Implants improves the masticatory function
- Implants lead to a lower risk of cavity development in adjacent teeth
- Implant lead to better maintenance of bone at the site of the missing tooth
- Implant doesn’t cause sensitivity in nearby teeth
- Implant do not need to be taken out and cleaned every night as we have to do for removable dentures
- It preserves the health of the surrounding bone and gums
- Improved speech and overall appearance of the individual turns pleasing
There are two types of dental implants i.e. endosteal implants and sub-periosteal implants.
Endosteal implants are the most common type among the two types. The surgeon implants them in the jawbone, and each can hold one or more artificial teeth depending on the type of implants used.
The implantologist fixes a sub-periosteal implant on top of the jawbone. Dental surgeons choose this option for people who do not have much bone width.
Although implants have many advantages, it has few risks also which are stated below
- Sometimes damage may occur to surrounding natural teeth during implant placement
- Injury to the surrounding tissues during implant surgery, such as sinus perforation
- Sometimes bone fracture may occur during surgery
- Implant body failure may sometimes occur due to systemic diseases like diabetes or habits like smoking etc.
- Difficulty cleaning the gums around the implant, resulting in poor oral hygiene and unhealthy gums
Each and every individual is likely to have a different experience of implant surgery. Factors that may influence this can include the following
- The number of teeth requiring replacement can effect
- The location or the site of the implant placement within the jaw
- The quality and width of the bone at the implant site
- History of any underlying oral and systemic diseases
Depending on the above mentioned factors, additional procedures may be necessary in few cases. These include the following
Placing an implant in the upper jawbone is usually difficult because of the presence of the maxillary sinuses. The surgeon may need to perform a sinus augmentation in such cases in which the surgeon has to lift the floor of the sinuses to allow more bone to develop so that the implantation can be successful and don’t include any complications.
Some people may have alveolar bone abnormality that prevents enough bone for an implant from developing. In such cases, a surgeon may need to perform a ridge modification procedure, which involves lifting the gingival tissue to expose the area of deformed bone. The surgeon will then use a bone or bone substitute like bone grafts to repair and build up the area, which improves the quality of the jawbone in preparation for dental implant surgery.