Dental implant is a metal fixture which is inserted into your jawbone to help support either a crown or denture on top. Dental implants are considered the ideal method to replace missing teeth since placing dental implants does not harm other teeth or your jawbone the way that dentures and bridges do. Dental implants are superior in quality, longevity and durability to both bridges and dentures. Placing dental implants helps you preserve your jawbone over the years, whereas bridges and dentures do not preserve your jawbone. With advancements in dentistry, implants have become much simpler, more affordable and easier to place and restore. Before you convince yourself that you are not a candidate for implants or that you can’t afford them, talk to us to see if there’s a reasonable solution involving dental implants for your mouth. We offer complimentary implant consultation and second opinion, so you have nothing to lose.
Most dental implants are made from medical-grade titanium, although zirconium and machined-metal implants are also available. Titanium is the metal of choice for use inside of our body due to its strength, light-weight and biocompatibility. In fact, a similar titanium alloy is used to make hip and knee replacement implants. Implants are designed with threads which are like a screw. These threads increases the surface area and allows jawbone to lock the implant into place and stabilize the implant.
Treatment time varies anywhere from 3 months to over a year. It depends on multiple factors such as your bone size, density, medical history and other relevant factors. Once a dental implant is placed into your jawbone, it starts to heal through a process known as osseointegration. Osseointegration refers to bone growing into the tiny crevices located on the implant fixture. Osseointegration takes a few months to complete, after which your implant becomes securely locked into place. At this point, your dentist can load a tooth or anchor your dentures onto the implant. Osteointegration typically takes 3 to 6 months, so most implant procedures also take this long to complete. More complex cases which require bone augmentation can take longer, up to a year or possibly longer. To get a rough idea of how long your specific treatment is expected to take, talk to Dr. Jazayeri for more information.
Absolutely. This process is known as immediate implant placement. Your dentist will remove your bad tooth, clean out the infection and place the dental implant into the same extraction socket, during the same appointment. Immediate placement shaves off about 3 to 4 months from your treatment time and also eliminates the need for an additional surgery.
Sure. This process is known as immediate implant load. Your dentist inserts the implant fixture and then adds the abutment and temporary crown on the same. This is a good option for restoring front teeth in areas where you don’t want to have your front tooth missing for very long. However, not every case qualifies for immediate load. If you have multiple teeth missing, a heavy bite or grind your teeth, immediate load is considered risky and should be avoided.
If you do qualify for immediate load or immediate placement, be sure to follow post-op instructions very carefully. Stick with a soft diet, avoid brushing the area and don’t apply pressure to the implant as you are instructed. You must follow these instructions for the first few weeks or months in order to give your implant time to properly heal.
Taking care of your dental implants is the same as caring for your usual teeth. The good news is that dental implants don’t get cavities like natural teeth do, since they are a metal-based foreign object. However, you can lose bone around the implant if you fail to upkeep proper oral hygiene. This could lead eventually cause enough bone loss to where your dental implant gets loose and fails.
To keep your implants clean, simply brush and floss the implant as you would any other tooth in your mouth. If you notice that you’re trapping a little extra food around the implant, consider adding a go-between instrument or waterpik to your daily hygiene routine. However, if you’re getting lots of food trap then you should go and see your dentist to address the issue. It is very important to make sure that you maintain proper oral hygiene at home and keep up with your regular dental cleanings. Talk to your dentist to come up with an appropriate home hygiene regimen and dental cleaning protocol to help protect your implant.
To learn more about how to clean your dental implants, click here.