Dental ImplantsA dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Types of dental implants
- Endosteal (in the bone): This is the most commonly used type of implant. The various types include screws, cylinders or blades surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of implant is generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures.
- Subperiosteal (on the bone): These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework's posts protruding through the gum to hold the prosthesis. These types of implants are used for patients who are unable to wear conventional dentures and who have minimal bone height.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Implants
- The mouth is restored as closely as possible to its natural state - no need to be embarrassed because your smile looks different, or worrying that missing teeth will limit your ability to join in the fun or that removable dentures or tooth-supported replacement teeth will loosen or fall out when you talk, eat or laugh. Teeth restored with dental implants are teeth that let you, not your teeth, lead your life.
- Implants preserve the integrity of facial structures - a face without teeth can sag and appear sunken and sad. Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.
- Your smile is improved when replacement teeth look more like natural teeth - Even when only one tooth is missing, long term esthetics are usually much better with an implant supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth supported bridge. This is particularly important in the front of your mouth, where preventing a visible bone defect is critical for natural appearancee
- Adjacent teeth are not compromised to replace missing teeth - placing a tooth-supported bridge requires grinding away the teeth on one or both sides of the missing tooth or teeth – thereby damaging healthy teeth to restore those that are missing. The modified healthy teeth are attached to, and support, the bridge. Dental implants go in the jawbone, in the spot where your missing tooth root was, without impacting healthy teeth. They also help prevent healthy, adjacent teeth from shifting as they would if an empty space were left for an extended period of time.
- Overall quality of life is enhanced with replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.
- Convenient oral hygiene - It is much easier to care for an implant supported crown, which can be cleaned like a natural tooth. In comparison, a tooth supported bridge requires the use of a floss threader for proper cleaning. It is also more convenient to clean a full set of implant supported replacement teeth than a traditional denture.
- Improved appearance.
- Restored self-esteem and renewed self-confidence.
- A surgical procedure for implant placement and a period of healing is necessary before the prosthesis may be completed.
- Dental implant procedures may entail an increase in cost compared to conventional dentistry.
- Mechanical fracture of fixtures, bridges, bridge attaching screws or abutment screws and loosening of screws can occur. Reported occurrences are less than 5% of patients. Trauma to the mouth or jaws or stress concentration from the bridge could result in mechanical failure and complications.
- Porcelain fracture of crowns and bridgework on implants is much more prevalent than on natural teeth due to a lack of shock-absorbency between the implants and the bone.