Dental implant is an artificial replacement of the root part of the tooth that supports a restoration or crown on the upper part, and gets fixed into the alveolar bone to restore the original tooth form and maintain the perfect integrity of the jaws.
The placement of dental implants is a part of prosthetic dentistry.
For dentists –
There are various types of implants which can be called under –
The most popular and preferred type of dental implant is Osseointegrated dental implant which is known to cause the osteoblasts to grow around the implant element which is titanium, and it gets as an integral part of that metal and they bind together. As the surface of titanium metal is rough and rigid, the integration becomes between between the two components.
For patients –
Dental implants are the structures that are used to replace the original tooth which is decayed, and to restore the contour of the original tooth. This is preferred when the root canal treatment is not possible and extraction is the only way to treat with for a particular tooth.
The artificial tooth which is placed as a crown above the implant just resembles a natural tooth, and the dental implant also helps in supporting full dentures or partial dentures. But the only fear the patients would see is that implants require full surgical procedure for placement, and this is not normally tolerated by most of the patient who are not in a good health. Implant placement procedure requires the patient to be in sound health, both mentally and physically.
Things to know about the procedure –
Material – The dental implant is made up of 2 components, a titanium screw and a crown to cover it. Nowadays, an alloy of cobalt and other elements called Vitallium are also used as osseointegrated implants.
Procedure of implant placement –
- The procedure of placing dental implants is not an easy one for the dentist and is not like a basic extraction process. It requires great skill.
An initial pilot hole is drilled into the tooth upto the root tip after the tooth has been removed, and this is extended upto the appropriate jaw size which can hold the screw of the implant. For compensation of the screw in that position, the hole is expanded to the needed size.
- Then the anchor is placed and a protective screw is placed along-with so that the implant site do not start healing, rather it can interact with the screw which is regarded as osseointegration. This process takes considerable time so it is allowed for 6 months for good osseointegration to occur.
- After this, the post screw is replaced by the artificial tooth crown on the top. The initial crown placed is temporary crown which provides shape for the gums to grow around. After the gums are well shaped, the temporary crown is replaced by a permanent crown.
Facts to remember about dental implants and its placement –
> Dental implants are one of the most successful dental procedures with more than 90% success rate for 5 year life. The success is more pronounced with the mandibular teeth as the mandibular bone is more dense and can hold the screw with better osseointegration when compared to the maxillary one.
> One of the main failure of dental implant can be due to lack of osseointegration, which can be due to less dense bone, or insufficient thickness of bone for holding the implant properly.
> Regular smokers have the maximum rate of failure of dental implants, so the addiction to smoking has to be withdrawn when the procedure is going on until the last stage. For non-withdrawing patients, the dentist advises to go for partial denture than implants, as implants are more likely to fail in smokers.
> One of the advantages of using dental implants is that it does not produce any dental condition such as plaque formation, or dental caries. But if the oral hygiene is not maintained later, then a condition called peri-implantitis can occur sometimes. This should be taken care of, by maintaining proper oral hygiene.
> This is sometimes a challenging procedure for the dentists when treating on the posterior mandibular teeth, as that is the position where the inferior alveolar nerve enters through the mental foramen, and it is not to be disturbed in any case.
> Dental implant procedure is not done when the dentist finds the bone not thick enough. Due to this, the procedure is delayed, as some time is given for a bone grafting method for the healing and thickening process of the bone which can be sufficient enough for the osseointegration to occur and such that it can hold the implant screw for longer time.
> If a patient is suffering from bruxism, which can be due to several reasons, the implant procedure is contraindicated, as the improper grinding can alter the newly placed crown and slight movement in this can alter the underlying structures for which the complete osseointegration has not finished well.