If you are missing any of your natural teeth, implant dentistry can provide you with teeth that look and feel like your very own. Permanent replacement teeth can be yours without the embarrassment of loose dentures or having to cut into other healthy teeth. Implants will enable you to enjoy the simple pleasures of unrestricted eating.
With dental implants you can have the confidence to pursue an active business and social life.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts with specially activated surfaces. They are placed (implanted) into your jawbone to function in a similar way to a natural tooth root. Your bone grows into the implants in a process called OSSEOINTEGRATION. After a few months the implants will form a permanent part of your body, provided that there are no complications.
Are implants safe and how long do they last?
Present day implants have shown a success rate of more than 90%. Many dentists now agree that implants are one of the most predictable forms of dental treatment, and in most cases it is a long-term solution. More than half a million people receive dental implants every year.
Am I suitable for dental implants?
X-rays, and sometimes CT scans, will be needed to see if you have sufficient quality and quantity of bone. Conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, HIV or leukemia can affect the bone growing onto the implant and will need careful assessment. In general, most people are suitable candidates for implants.
Does it hurt?
A small procedure will be necessary. It's usually possible to place the implants in the dentist's rooms. In some cases a general anaesthetic is preferable, and this will require a visit to a medical clinic or hospital. Some patients do experience one or two days of discomfort after the procedure, which is usually related to the stitches.
Is the treatment expensive?
An accurate estimate can be obtained from your dentist or dental specialist.
At what age should implants be placed?
The youngest patients receiving implants are in their late teens, and the oldest in their nineties. When there are missing teeth, the jawbone often shrinks. This is common with denture wearers, and the ridge which is important for holding the denture gradually disappears, affecting the fit of the denture.
Dental implants restore the normal loading of the bone and prevents further loss of bone. The sooner you decide to have implants placed, the less bone loss is experienced, enabling your dentist to achieve a better aesthetic result.
How is the treatment obtained?
Implant treatment is a technical and complex form of dentistry. Not all dentists wish, or are trained, to provide implant treatment. For this reason. your dentist might refer you to a specialist for part or all of the implant treatment. The surgery (placing of the implant) is done by a maxillo-facial and oral surgeon, a periodontist, or a dentist. The design and construction of the artificial teeth is done by a dentist or prosthodontist working in conjunction with a dental technician.
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