Teeth are one of the most important parts of our body, not only because they largely contribute to our appearance, but also because they enable us to eat, chew and partly digest food, i.e. the fuel on which we function. Hence, missing a tooth or worse, multiple teeth can severely impact our way of life. Thankfully, there is now a seemingly complex yet highly accessible solution available – Dental Implants!
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
A dental implant can be defined as a titanium fixture that is placed in the jawbone, with the aim of replacing a missing root. Once placed, the implant is allowed to rest for a span of 4-6 months, wherein it fuses with the bone. Then, this artificial root is used to hold a fixed or removable replacement tooth, and in some cases a bridge.
Regardless of the fact that the implants are being used to replace one tooth, multiple teeth, or all the teeth, they all serve the same purpose –
One of the most flattering aspects of Dental Implants is the fact that the replacement tooth is carefully matched with the existing teeth, to ensure a natural-looking aesthetically appealing appearance.
PARTS OF A DENTAL IMPLANT
A Dental Implant usually comprises of 3 main parts, namely -
The Fixture (an Implant Body or a Post) – It has a screw-like appearance and is placed within the jawbone through a short procedure. After the placement, a healing cap is used to ensure the desired growth of gum in the surrounding area.
Abutment – After a wait of 3-4 months, when the implant fixture has fused with the bone, the implantologist adjusts the gum to attach an abutment, which is a metal-based tooth-like structure that is attached in place. The abutment essentially helps connect the implant post with the replacement tooth or bridge.
Crown or Bridge – The Crown used for single-tooth implants, or the bridge used for multiple-teeth replacement is the only visible part of the implant structure. Once the crown or the bridge is placed, gums start growing in the surrounding area exuding a natural appearance.
ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental Implants fare amongst one of the most astounding creations within dentistry, as they are accompanied with a wide range of benefits including but not limited to -
Additionally, implants are fairly durable, and if taken good care of, often last a lifetime!
ALTERNATIVE DENTAL IMPLANT TECHNIQUES
On the basis of your jawbone’s condition and your specific requests, your implantologist may recommend certain treatment plans over and above the conventional multi-step dental implant procedure. These treatment plans may be as under -
Immediate Load Dental Implants – They are also known as Same-Day Implants, wherein the dentist places the temporary tooth on the same day when the implant is placed. This is generally an option, only when there is ample natural bone, and when the implant is sufficiently secure.
All-on-4® - All-on-4 is a procedure wherein, instead of placing a complete set of teeth using the top or bottom arch through bone grafting, 4 implants are placed which can support the complete set of teeth. In this case, special abutments are used to offer a temporary set of replacement teeth for aesthetic purposes. For the next 4-6 months, the patient needs to follow a modified diet to ensure complete healing of the gum tissue as well as the fusion of implants and the jaw bone. After this period, the dentist places the permanent replacement teeth. The patient can then go back to living a normal life, complete with a regular diet.
Immediate Implant Placement – As the name suggests, this type of placement occurs, right after a natural tooth is extracted. This alternative expedites the overall treatment span.
Basal implants – These implants make use of the basal cortical portion of the jaws, which not only enable immediate loading of the implant but also offer enhanced implant retention.
Considering the numerous advantages they offer, the most important of which are improved function, enhanced aesthetics, and high durability, dental implants are fast becoming the preferred course of treatment for many, and renowned esthetic and cosmetic dentistry specialist Dr. Purav Mehta and gums implants specialists Dr. Siddhi Mehta cannot seem to agree more! For more such insights on dental and oral health stay tuned to Nth Sense.
Dr. Purav Mehta
Specialist in Conservative Dentistry
and Endodontics, BDS and MDS
Dr. Siddhi Mehta
Gums and Implants specialist,
BDS and MDS