Dental implants are false teeth which are fixed to the jaw to look and feel like your natural teeth. Implants can be used to replace one or more teeth. The procedure is carried out by a dental surgeon with experience and knowledge carrying out this type of surgical procedure.
If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, then you could be a candidate for dental implants. This type of dental surgery is not ideal for everyone and you need to be in good health in order to be considered. If you suffer from cancer, uncontrolled diabetes or if you’re a heavy smoker or you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, the dental surgeon may decide that dental implants are not the ideal choice for you.
Before you can go ahead with dental implants, your dental surgeon will conduct a number of examinations and tests to ensure your bone is in good condition and can handle the implants, according to leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, Dr Tariq Drabu. The dentist will examine your mouth and jaw extensively to ensure you have good oral health and that your jaw is in good condition. Then they will take x-rays of your mouth and possibly a CT scan.
If you have missing teeth the bone can wear away, the bone starts wasting the minute the teeth aren’t there to stimulate it. This means that you can have a decrease of twenty five percent of your bone density within the first year of losing a tooth. In the event of this happening, you may have to have a bone graft which will help hold the implants in place.
Having the dental implants done is not a painful experience. You will have a local anaesthetic to numb the area and in some instances if you are having more than one implant done, you may be offered a general anaesthic, where you can sleep throughout the process and wake up with beautiful new teeth.
The dental team will work closely together throughout the process to place in the implants. This is from the crown (the actual tooth) being fabricated to fitting the implant into your jaw bone. It may sound like quite a detailed process, but with dental teams working together, the process goes quickly and effectively.
Once the crown has been made to match the size and colour of your natural teeth, it is mounted on top of the implant. The implant is usually a titanium screw, which is carefully screwed into your jaw bone, it fuses with the bone within six months and is long lasting.
Once the implant has been placed, the crown is then placed on top to look and feel like a natural tooth. You can have this for singular or multiple teeth. In some cases if you do need a bone graft or if you have diabetes and your dentist has concerns about your recovery time, then there is a change, the crown will only be fitted once the implant has fused with the bone.
Dr Tariq Drabu recommends that anyone who is interested in having dental implants should make an initial appointment with a dental specialist. During this initial appointment, the dentist can do initial examinations and x-rays to determine if the patient is a candidate for the implants and they can also explain the procedure in detail, along with the cost to help the patient identify if it is something they want to proceed with.