What are they?
Implants are man-made “anchors” that look like cylinders or screws. They are artificial replacements for natural tooth roots.
Implants are used in upper and lower jaws. They are made of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. They attach to the jawbone and gum tissue to become a stable base for one or more replacement teeth.
Dental Implants have been used for several decades. More patients are choosing them as an option to replace missing teeth. One survey shows that more than 1.5 million dental implants were placed last year.
Who can have them?
Patients of all ages have chosen dental implants to replace either a single tooth, several teeth or to support partial or full dentures. It’s no surprise. Dental implants help to restore the ability to chew food. They help to fill out a face that could otherwise look “sunken” because of missing teeth.
Dental Implants are the closest thing to natural teeth. Unlike dentures, implants are not removed for overnight soaking and cleaning. No adhesives are needed.
Treatment generally is a three part process that takes several months. In the first step, the dentist surgically places the implant into the jaw, with the top of the implant slightly above the top of the bone. A screw is inserted into the implant to prevent gum tissue and other debris from entering.
The gum is then secured over the implant, where it will remain covered for approximately three to six months while the implant fuses with the bone, a process called osteointegration. There may be swelling and/or tenderness for a few days after the surgery, so pain medication is ualually prescribed to alleviate the discomfort. A diet of soft food, cold foods and warm soup is opfter recommended during the healing process.
In the second step, the implant is uncovered and the dentist attaches an extension, called a post, to the implant. The gum tissue is allowed to heal around the post. Some implants require a second surgery in which a post is attached to connect the replacement teeth. With other implants, the implant and post is one unit placed in the mouth during the initial surgery. Once healed, the implant and post can serve as the foundation for the new tooth.
In the third and final step, the dentist makes a custom artificial tooth, called a dental crown, based on size, shape, colour and fit that will blend with your other teeth. Once completed, the crown is attached to the implant post.
Are you a good candidate?
You are, if your in good health and have healthy gums and adequate bone to support an implant. You must be committed to thorough oral hygiene to keep your mouth healthy and schedule regular dental visits.
If you wish to check whether you are suitable for implants to complete your wonderful smile and allow you to enjoy your food please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Rafia Mustafa for a consultation who would be happy to assist you. She is very skilled at Implantology (the art of implant placement) even in the most challenging of cases with excellent long term results.