A dental implant is a famous tooth replacement choice after the extraction or loss of a tooth. It gives a sense of stability and strength to people who have lost one or more teeth.
In the U.S, more than 5 million people place a dental implant in their mouth every year. It has been proved beneficial for about 30 years. A dental implant is an artificial tooth that resembles the natural tooth of the person. It restores the place ofa missing tooth and prevents deterioration of jaw bone. The process of dental implant is categorized as a type of prosthetic dentistry as well as cosmetic dentistry. This procedure allows people to regain their wish to enjoy their food of choice and speak without any hesitation.
What causes tooth loss?
- Tooth decay: the main cause of tooth decay is poor oral hygiene and unhealthy food. Both circumstances cause a cavity in a tooth, which with time deteriorates the tooth entirely.
- Periodontal disease: it is harmful gum disease. In this disease, decay-causing germs and plaque enter the worn-out gum and cause inflammation. This results in the loss of jaw bone and the falling of teeth.
- Age and medication
People with age more than 55 years experience more tooth loss. Patients with blood pressure, diabetes, and heart issues are at higher risk of developing cavities in teeth. Medications of the above problems cause dryness in the mouth, which accelerates the process of tooth decay.
Any injury such as a fall or car accident can cause tooth destruction. A dental implant becomes necessary when a natural tooth fails to recover.
Professionals involved in dental implant surgery
- A maxillofacial and oral surgeon
This surgeon gets specialization in placing a dental implant. He is also knowledgeable about sedation techniques and can perform the procedure safely.
He is the one who focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal ailment. He gets advanced practicein placing a dental implant and treating gum inflammation.
He is a dentist who gets specialization in complex facial and dental matters. This includes the replacement and restoration of damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth.
Types of dental implant
There are four types of dental implants.
- Single-tooth implant
This type is ideal when only a single tooth is lost and a person wants to replace it for comfort, esthetics, and function.
The cost of this type of dental implant ranges between $3000-$4000.
- Implant-supported bridge
This type is ideal for people who have more than one teeth loss. Through this technique, a person can restore several missing teeth.
The cost of an implant-supported bridge ranges from $5000 to $16000.
- All-on-4 dental implants
This type is suitable for those people who are searching for a safe and permanent remedy for numerous missing teeth. It restores the entire lower or upper jaw.
The cost of an all-on-4 dental implant ranges from $15000 to $20000/arch.
- 3-on-6 dental implants
A 3-on-6 dental implant is an alternate implant-retained denture. In this implant, three dental bridges are connected with six dental implants.
The cost of a 3-on-6 dental implant ranges from $10K-$15k per arch.
- Removal of tooth
This step is not always necessary. It is done only when the part of a damaged tooth remains inside the mouth.
- Grafting & preparation of jawbone
Grafting is done to improve the bone’s quantity. An appropriate quantity of bone reduces the risk of failure. Options for grafting include natural bone graft and synthetic bone graft. This step is not always necessary. People with inadequate jawbones undergo bone grafting. The healing time takes few months before the placement of the dental implant.
- Placement of implant
The surgeon exposes the jawbone by making an incision. A periodontist or oral surgeon makes tiny holes by drilling. After that, he places the implant in the hole. Here implant acts as a synthetic tooth root.
In this phase, the process of osseointegration starts. This process allows the fusion of the implant with the jawbone. This process takes several months. As a result, it gives a sturdy base to support the crown.
- Abutment placement
An Abutment acts as a linking point between the top crown and dental implant. The abutment is placed over the dental implant. It seems like an extension of the dental implant where a crown will be placed.
- Placement of crown
The surgeon makes sure that the implant is prepared and strong enough to serve the chewing purpose. Then he takes the impression of natural teeth of the patient. A dental technician creates the artificial crown according to the impression taken. This crown is fixed on the abutment and gives the impression of a natural tooth.
- An implant acts like a natural tooth allowing an individual to speak and chew normally.
- Resembles natural teeth that improve self-esteem
- Offers independent support and removes the burden on remaining teeth
- Helps in preventing jaw bone deterioration
- Convenient to clean
- With propermaintenance and good oral hygiene, dental implants canlast for 15 to 25 years.
- Dental implants cannot be whitened like natural teeth
- Placement of implant requires invasive surgical technique
- The surgery is expensive
- Requires bone grafting in case of the inadequate jaw bone
With proper oral hygienic conditions, a dental implant lasts for fifteen to twenty-five years. In rare cases, dental implant fails due to some reasons such as smoking. Some severe risks that develop after surgery are as follows.
- Damage to gums, surrounding teeth, and blood vessels
- Infection at the site of surgery
- Prolonged bleeding
- Sinus issues
- Fractured jaw
- Jaw pain
- Nerve damage
The failure rate of dental implant
It has been seen that about 5% to 10% of dental implants fail due to lack of care after surgery. Failure rate also increases due to poor osseointegration, tissue damage, allergic reactions, sinus problems, infections, rejection, and smoking. Symptoms of dental failure include swollen gums, loose implants, pain sensations around the implant, and difficuty in chewing.