Dental implants fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, with the purpose of restorations of missing teeth, whilst dental implants are considered cosmetic, there is an element of prosthetic dentistry. The use, and need for dental Implants may be required for the following reasons: periodontal disease , congenital defects, age, general wearing or trauma.
Before any treatment is undertaken the dentist will complete a thorough examination of the gums, surrounding area, the bone, and bone density to identify if implants are a suitable method for the restoration of a missing tooth. The consultation will likely incorporate x-Rays and CT scans of the bone, to get a better understanding of placement and size of the dental implants.
Types of Dental Implant
There are two types of dental implant, Endosteal and Subperiosteal
Endosteal are the most typically used implants consisting of cylinders, which are smooth implants, bladed implants, or screw, which are threaded. Endosteal are placed into the bone, and are usually an option for patients that have good bone density.
Subperiosteal implants sit on the bone, rather than within, and can be fitted in one installation, these types of implants are used mainly as anchors for dentures for patients that have insufficient bone density.
There are many benefits to having dental implants which include:
- improved speech, poor fitting dentures can make speaking difficult for some people, often the dentures will not align to the pallet and can cause slurred speech or a hiss.
- Durability, due to implants being comprised of titanium, they are highly durable and can last up to 30-40 years, if cared for correctly.
- Improved Facial structure, having dental implants restores the correct position of the jaw, often with tooth loss, especially with the elderly, the facial structure is greatly compromised.
- improvement in chewing and eating, dentures can cause a great deal of discomfort especially when eating, certain foods can become trapped under the dentures which can cause pain. Often denture wearers are limited to the types of food they can eat, due to slipping of the dentures when chewing.
What does the procedure involve?
In most cases a dentist and periodontist will work together to attain the best overall result, it is important that the dentist is skilled in this area, as damage can occur to the jaw, and or the surrounding nerves if the site of the implant is not adequately selected, surgical precision is a necessity when drilling into the bone to create the pilot hole. Once the Pilot whole has been drilled the titanium implant may be inserted, it may be necessary to widen the area first to allow for secure placement of the implant. Once the implant is placed, the gum is put back in place and sutured closed, a flat screw top is fitted to the implant and acts as a plug Mechanism to allow for the implant site to heal properly, and to allow Osseointegration to occur.
Osseointegration is a process where titanium is implanted into the bone, and left to heal, over time the titanium fuses to the bone without the need for any supporting tissues or ligaments to support the anchoring. Your Dentist will fit a temporary crown which will allow the gum to heal in a manner that will accommodate the new crown once the site has fully healed.
Success rate of dental implants
Are all dental implants successful? unfortunately not, however, the success rate is very high, the overall success of dental implants very much depends on where the implant is placed, if the structure of the bone is in optimum condition the success rate can be 98% if the implant is maintained correctly.