What is a dental implant?

 

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically anchored into your jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth or denture in place. In most cases this artificial root is a titanium screw that is placed surgically in the bone. The screw then fuses biologically with the living bone (a process called osseo-integration) to form a strong foundation upon which a crown or bridge can be placed.

 

Advantages of dental implants

Having replacement teeth fixed securely into your jawbone provides many advantages. They can:

  • Eliminate the need for removable dentures altogether
  • Provide stability for dentures, thereby promoting denture self-confidence. This improves speech, appearance and chewing function
  • Eliminate the need to involve adjacent teeth in the construction of a bridge (thereby preserving valuable tooth tissue.

 

Who is suitable for a dental implant?

If you have one or several missing teeth, you may be a good candidate to have one or more dental implants. You should always consult with your dentist, who will be guided by the following indicators in deciding whether or not a dental implant is the appropriate treatment for you:

 

Good candidates

  • Good health
  • Healthy gums
  • Enough bone to anchor the dental implant in the jaw
  • Commitment to daily brush and floss the implanted teeth and surrounding gums
  • Commitment to make regular visits to the dentist

 

Problematic candidates

  • Young patients whose jawbones have not fully developed
  • Pregnant women
  • Heavy smokers – smoking retards healing and reduces the chance of implant success
  • Alcohol or substance abusers
  • Patients receiving high-dose irradiation of their head or neck
  • People with chronic diseases or systemic problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, connective-tissue diseases, hemophilia and significant immune deficiencies.
  • Patients taking steroids or drugs that suppress the immune system
  • People who severely grind or clench their teeth

 

 

Recovering from implant surgery

In many cases, patients report that dental implants are less troublesome than having teeth removed. With modern anesthesia and close attention to post operative care, you can expect minimal discomfort. In any event there will probably be some dull pain, which can be lessened by taking pain relief tables over 2-5 days.

The bone will feel sore and the surrounding gums tender and swollen. But during the first week, this discomfort will gradually subside. Depending of the type of implant and replacement teeth selected, the total healing time can range from a few weeks to six or more months.

 

Dr.Florentino Encarnacion G,

Dental Surgeon,Implants Prosthesis Speciallist.

Dental Implants Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.