Dental implants are a modern way to enhance the look of your smile. Implants improve the chewing and speech function of your teeth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a permanent fixture which acts like a natural tooth. Dental Implants consist of two components. The first component is a titanium screw, which we screw into the jawbone. This is a permanent fixture, which acts as the root of the tooth. The second component is a tooth coloured porcelain crown, which is fixed to the screw.
How are dental implants placed?
You need to have a healthy jawbone to place screws into. An adequate bone thickness and jawbone length are important factors that will help the screws sit properly in the bone.
The implant placement is a two-stage procedure. The first stage involves placing the titanium screws in the jawbone. A dentist, Periodontist or Oral Surgeon can do this. The second stage is where a dentist or prosthodontist places a crown on the screw.
First, we take some dental x-rays to check the bone quality. This includes checking the length of the bone, thickness and relationship to the vital structures. The vital structures are the sinus in the upper jaw and nerves in the lower jaw. If the results are satisfactory, we surgically place a titanium screw into the jawbone.
After we place the implant, we leave it for 3-6 months to heal. During the healing period, the bone will grow in between the screw threads and surface. This allows it to become stable.
While the healing takes place, we may provide a temporary denture.
Once the implant is stable and firm, we take some impressions or moulds. We send the impressions to the dental lab. The dental lab will make a porcelain crown and send it back to us.
The dentist will check the fit and screw the crown on the implant.
Advantages of teeth implants
Implants are permanently fixed to the jawbone. You can’t remove them like dentures and they act like natural teeth. This can improve your appearance, eating, speech and self-esteem.
How to take care of teeth implants?
You should brush and floss like you would your other teeth.
It is important to keep the gum margin clean to avoid infection around the implant. If you do get gum infection, the gum will start to recede and create a deep pocket. This allows bacteria to multiply in between the threads of the screw, leading to further discomfort and problems.