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Dental implants materials and components
Today's implants are predominantly made of titanium, a metal that is bio-compatible and offers strength and durability as well as a unique property of fusing directly to bone - the process known asosseointegration. Different parts of a dental implant are: A small titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone. An abutment is a ceramic or titanium component that ensures a secure fit between the dental implant and the crown
Uses of Dental Implants
Dental implants are suitable for almost anyone who has lost one or more teeth and would like to restore their appearance or chewing ability; however, as it is important that the patient’s bone tissue is fully developed, they are not used in young people younger than 18 years of age. To be considered for implants, your mouth must be in a healthy condition, with no untreated tooth decay or active periodontal (gum) disease. If implants are fitted in the presence of active periodontitis, there is a danger that an infection will develop around the implant, which will lead to its failure and loss
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants reduce the stress on the remaining teeth by offering independent support for crowns, bridgework and over dentures. They prevent any remaining natural teeth from being damaged – no surrounding teeth need to be cut down or removed. Dental implants preserve bone that results in loss of jaw height and the appearance of aging. Evidence suggests that they can last much longer than other methods of dental tooth replacement. Implants will allow you to chew better and speak more clearly
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
A surgical procedure is necessary for implant placement. Initial implant expense may be costly, but in the long-term, is actually more cost-effective. Implants can also suffer from gum disease, if placed in patients with untreated gum problems, or if there has been no implant maintenance. Implants may feel ‘dead’ as they do not have any nerves
Success rates of dental implants and their lifetimes
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of 95%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime. Many implants have been in place for more than 40 years. Although overall dental implants can last a very long time but they may fail for predictable reasons like: Gum disease Smoking Trauma to the tooth or jaw
Implant Contraindications and Cautions
Diabetes Tobacco Cancer Patients Age: Generally implants are placed in patients whose growth has stopped, which is from 18 to 20 years of age. On the other hand, old age is not a contraindication. Patients can have implants placed at age 85 and have great success
Care of dental implants
Clean other teeth with your toothbrush on the evening of surgery. Avoid brushing the surgical site for the first few days. Floss regularly. Use the chlorhexidine mouthwash on the evening of surgery and continue for 1 week. Hot salt mouthwashes are beneficial for healing in the first week. A soft diet for a few days is required. You are advised not to smoke until the wound has healed as this severely limits healing in the mouth. You should have regular hygienist appointments
Duration of treatment
Once the initial healing has taken place then implants will continue to integrate with the bone. In some cases the implants can be loaded immediately but more and typically loading (with a crown or bridgework) will be performed some 2-6 months after implant placement. This depends on the individual case, the quality of the patient’s bone and whether any grafting has been required
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Your new dental implant will look and feel like natural. With dental implants you will have more confidence to smile and even be able to bite an apple! Dental implants can replace a removable denture with fixed teeth Dental implants stop your gums and bone from shrinking which reduces the aging effect caused by losing teeth.
?Will I be left without teeth during treatment
We understand it can be embarrassing for patients to be without their teeth. During the treatment we will do all we can to help you smile confidently and that nobody will know you have a gap. If you do need to be without teeth to allow initial healing, this will be clearly explained to you before treatemnt commences
? How long does the treatment take
For routine cases treatment time is usually ten weeks. More complex cases can take longer. For instance, when there is sufficient bone, treatment time is shortened and when there is insufficient bone, treatment time can be increased. Your specific treatment schedule will be explained to you during your consultation
?Would I need to do anything prior to treatment
Yes. As part of our consultation we will screen your gums and bone for any infections. Prior to implant placement your remaining teeth and gums need to be healthy. We will offer any additional treatement to ensure that your mouth is healthy prior having implants
? How often will I need to have my dental implants checked
It is essential that you continue to see your own dentist and your hygienist for regular check-ups. Clinical studies have shown that a yearly review with your implantologist is best for the longevity of your implants. Some patients need more detailed maintenance; this will be explained prior the commencement of your treatment