What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots made of titanium and placed in edentulous ridges. They then provide a foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth that are made to match natural teeth.
What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
The tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from six to 12 weeks.
Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post — called an abutment — is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, the dentist makes impressions of the teeth, and creates a model of the patient’s bite. The new tooth or teeth is based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.
What are the Indications for Dental Implants?
Candidates for dental implants and mini-implants include partially and totally edentulous patients with proper bone height and width for implant placement.
In patients who fail to adapt to dentures owing to lack of support and retention, implants are a viable option.
Implant placement is becoming the standard of care among patients with single edentulous sites, since it avoids the loss of tooth structure of the adjacent teeth that a classic partial fixed prosthesis (bridge) requires.
What are the Contraindications?
Absolute contraindications include the following:
- Poor oral hygiene and patient compliance
- Active chemotherapy
- Active infection or other pathology at the implant site
Relative contraindications are as follows:
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus (not well controlled)
- Severely resorbed ridges
- History of radiation to implant site
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants over Dentures and Bridges?
- Improved appearance.
- Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing one to mumble or slur on words.
- Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult.
- Improved oral health. Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
- Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
- Convenience. Dental implants eliminate the inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for adhesives to keep them in place.
What are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?
High cost! A single implanted tooth can cost Rs 30,000/- to Rs 80,000/- whereas a complete denture will cost between Rs 10,000/- and Rs 50,000/-.