Isaac Lin DDS Santana Park Dental Care
A dental implant is a titanium metal replacement for a root of a tooth that is surgically implanted in the jawbone by a specially trained implant dentist or oral surgeon. As the body heals for approximately two to six months after the surgery, the bone around the implant fuses to the implant through a process called osseointegration. After the healing phase is complete, the implants are used to anchor crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants are the most natural replacement for a missing tooth.
For many patients, dental implants can be almost the same as having their natural teeth back again. That's because instead of being a removable device inside the mouth, teeth implants are bridges that are permanently anchored into the jaw itself. The dental implant procedure is surgical, yes, but usually performed under local anesthesia.
Implants take several steps, but you will be able to continue your regular professional and social routines. Initially, the dentist will evaluate your mouth, teeth, and jaw to determine whether dental implants are a good option for you.
For most patients, there are two surgical procedures involved. First, in the actual tooth implant placement, the implants are surgically inserted by an implant dentist into or atop the jawbone. Over the next three to six months, the implants are left alone, so that the anchor can bond to the bone, creating a strong foundation for the teeth to come.
Second, the new tooth or teeth are created and attached to the anchored dental implant. You now have teeth implants that might as well be your own: they look natural, are comfortable, and withstand the rigors of grinding and chewing. No one will know that your tooth has an artificial, man-made tooth implant root.
If an implant fails to bond to bone, another implant can immediately be put in its place, usually of a slightly larger diameter. In situations where another implant cannot be immediately placed, the area is allowed to heal for a few months and then another one can be put in the same place.
Your current dental health will influence whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants Some medical conditions may interfere with normal healing, such as diabetes or heart problems. Finally, the supporting bone in your jaw must be healthy; if you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, the success rate for your dental implants will drop. Less success also is noted in smokers.
A complete examination and X-rays by your dentist will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. You must also commit to a strict schedule of flossing, brushing, rinsing, and check-ups to keep them healthy.
Even though dental scientists are developing advanced materials to create a more durable crown, the old adage "nothing lasts forever" also applies to dental implant crowns. Because each patient is different, dental implant crowns last a varied amount of time depending on the patient.
Dental crowns that were thought to last only 3 to 5 years can last 10 to 20 years if meticulously cared for. On the other hand, dental crowns that should last for ten or more years can last only two years in a mouth that is neglected.
The dental implant cost factor is hard to determine precisely. The bottom line is that no one can tell you how long a tooth implant will last, but if you take excellent care of your mouth and see your dentist every six months, you stand a better chance of extending the life of your dental implants and other dental restorations.
When getting a dental implant, you should select a dentist or dental team with in-depth knowledge and prior experience with all aspects of the treatment. It is important to know that dental implant treatment consists of two components: a surgical phase and a restorative phase.
Traditionally, a dental surgeon, like an oral surgeon or a periodontist, performs the dental implant surgery. A general dentist, or prosthodontist and laboratory technician perform the restorative component. However, as implant dentistry has become more sophisticated, sometimes a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry conducts the entire procedure.
The process should begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient's medical and dental history, and a full clinical examination of the entire mouth and missing tooth area by your dentist. The clinical exam should also include specific X-rays.
After assessing the patient, a comprehensive treatment plan can be devised.
From that point, implants are surgically placed in the jawbone under local anesthesia.
The length of the healing time is based on the quality and quantity of bone, as well as the type of implant placed.
After adequate healing is allowed to occur, the implant can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture.