Dental Implant is a modality of treatment wherein Roots of missing teeth are replaced by Implants fixed in the bone. These Implants can either support Crowns, Bridges or Removable Dentures in the mouth. Oral Implantology has become one of the fastest growing disciplines of dentistry. Most modern implants are made of titanium. Titanium and titanium alloy are well accepted by the jaw bone. The external surface of the implant may be treated by different methods to increase the surface area available for bone cells to grow into.
Dental implants are available in different sizes and shapes like screws, blades and cylinders. The implant dentist selects the most appropriate implant after studying the case.
Missing teeth can be replaced by dentures or bridges. Conventionally fixed replacement of missing teeth was done by Bridges after abrading natural adjacent teeth for support. However, if teeth on either side of the missing tooth space were not present it would not be possible to make a tooth supported bridge & an Implant supported bridge would be the other alternative. Implants need neither gum nor teeth to support them. Implants are placed directly in bone and do not damage surrounding teeth. They function like individual natural teeth. Loose removable dentures can be made firm in the mouth by clipping them over 2 or 4 Implants.
Boys younger than 18 years and girls younger than 16 are usually not treated with implants, though there may be exceptions depending on the individual considerations. Healthy individuals, however old they may be can avail of implant treatment, after consulting with their respective physicians.
1) Improved self esteem
Removable Dentures can loosen and dislodge while speaking. With implants, however the person can confidently talk, eat, chew and speak naturally.
2) Improved comfort
Conventional Removable Dentures is seated on the gum and hence is mobile. Such Dentures can be clipped on Implants which remain firm as they take their support from the bone and the thus the Denture would be stable & more comfortable.
3) Improved health
Implants greatly enhances chewing efficiency and hence allows the patient to eat all types of nutritious food easily.
4) Improved appearance
When teeth are lost the facial appearance begins to change. The muscle tone is lost and the person looks older. Dental implants greatly reduce the bone loss and this in turn has a beneficial effect on the facial musculature.
Biting forces are transmitted to the jaw bone by the roots of teeth. This stimulates the bone and keeps it healthy. As teeth are lost, the bone in that area does not receive adequate stimulation and becomes weaker and gets gradually reduced. Placement of implants allows adequate stimulation of the surrounding bone and hence leads to a healthier bone environment.
The time to place implants can range from a few minutes to an hour or more, depending on the type of implant procedure necessary. The teeth can be fixed over the implants either immediately or after a few months as the case demands and allows.