Most people are familiar with general dentistry treatments such as cleaning, fillings, crowns and bridges. But cosmetic dentistry has only become widely popular in the last few decades. Cosmetic dentistry is any procedure undertaken solely to improve your appearance and focuses primarily on your smile. If your teeth are damaged or missing due to chips, cracks, decay, or aging, dental implants are the most common form of cosmetic treatment available today.
The more you know about implant dentistry, the easier it will be for you undergo the procedure with confidence and lack of fear. Before beginning this treatment, you should know about the risks, expenses, and maintenance involved, and also make sure your dentist is well trained in this field of dentistry.
Are you a candidate for dental implants?
If your gums are healthy and your jawbone is strong, you are a good candidate for dental implants. The following patients should look for another form of tooth replacement:
- Heavy smokers
- Patients with chronic poor oral hygiene
- Patients with Osteoporosis
- Patients who ingest steroids on a regular basis
How are dental implants attached?
- A rod made of titanium is embedded into your jawbone.
- A post is attached to the rod where it protrudes from the gums.
- A crown made of white tooth colored resin is fitted over the post. Your dentist will make a mold of your remaining teeth, and make crowns that most closely resemble the size and shape of your natural teeth. Sometimes the crowns are made of porcelain, which is not as strong as resin in terms of durability during chewing and grinding.
There are two types of dental implants:
- Endosteal implants – In a surgical procedure, the implants are implanted directly in to the jawbone. After the implantation area heals, posts are connected to the implants in a second round of surgery. Finally each artificial tooth is attached to a post.
- Subperiosteal implants - A metal frame is implanted below the gum in the jawbone. After the gum tissues heals, the frame becomes fixed in the bone. Artificial teeth are attached to posts that are attached to the metal frame and protrude from the gums.
What will the healing period be like?
In a process called osseointegration, the titanium rod bonds with your jawline. This will take 3 – 9 months. The length of the healing process and the ultimate success or failure of the procedure depends on a number of factors:
- Your individual state of health.
- The type of drugs you take to speed up the osseointegration process.
- The general health of your gum tissues.
Possible side effects of receiving dental implants include excessive pain and bleeding, infection, nerve injury, or inflammation of the tissue around the implants. The good news is that most patients undergo the procedure without mishap, and if your dentist feels you are a good candidate for dental implants, you can go ahead and start the process with confidence.Share