Information on Dental Implants

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Written by: Dr Poonam SachdevUpdated at: Jan 17, 2013 10:37 IST
Information on Dental Implants

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Dental implants are metal posts or frames which are placed in the jaw bone under the gums by surgery. After it is implanted surgically your dentist can put replacement teeth onto them.


How do Dental Implants Work


The implants after placement get fused with your jawbone. This then give a stable support for the artificial teeth or dentures and bridges. Dentures and bridges that do not slip or shift in your mouth is big advantage while eating and speaking. Another advantage of implants is that the healthy teeth adjacent to the implant don’t need to be prepared.


Where as standard bridges and dentures may not be as comfortable, and need to be fixed to teeth on either side of the missing tooth/teeth.


Prerequisite for an implant

  • Your gums should be healthy and there should be adequate bone to support the implant.
  • After implant you have to maintain good oral hygiene to keep these structures healthy.
  • Regular dental visits and cleaning as required will be needed for long-term success of dental implants.

But remember that implants cost a lot more than the standard bridges and dentures. The two types of implants that are considered to be safe are endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. When you consult your dentist for an implant he or she will advise regarding the appropriate implant for you.


Deciding if implants are right for you


Implants can not be placed in everyone who wants it. Your dentist after examining you will tell if you are suitable to get an implant.


Some considerations before you get an implant are

  • You should have healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw to allow an implant to be placed in.
  • If you have periodontal (gum) disease, infection or injury you may need antibiotics or other treatment for it before the implant is placed.
  • If there is a severe infection in your tooth root then after extraction the area will need time to heal before the implant can be placed.
  • At times uour jaw bone may need bone grafting or augmentation. In this procedure, before the implant is placed, your jaw bone is built up by bone grafting to increase the chance of implant success. Your dentist may do the bone grafting and place the implant at the same time. At times he or she may do the bone-graft procedure first and the place the implant after a few months (about 4 to 12 months). During this time you will be given dentures or bridge, so that you are not without teeth.
  • You should be ready to take good care of the implanted teeth and surrounding gums. You will have to maintain good oral hygiene by daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist for cleaning.

People who are not good candidates for implants include

  • Children whose jawbones are still growing
  • Pregnant women
  • Heavy smoker as smoking interferes with healing and can decrease the chance of implant success.
  • Excessive use of alcohol or substance abusers
  • Patients who have been administered high-dose irradiation to the head or neck
  • People with chronic diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, connective-tissue diseases, hemophilia and certain immune deficiencies
  • Patients on medications that suppress the immune system such as steroids, immunosuppressant
  • People with severe bruxism (who severely grind or clench their teeth)

Your dentist after examining you will decide whether you can receive implants.