Dental implants are a fantastic, long lasting solution for men and women who are currently suffering with broken, damaged, faded or missing teeth. This treatment results in a naturally beautiful smile, but there are many steps involved in getting patients to this point. Because of this, it is recommended that patients find out all there is to know about dental implantation before undergoing treatment.
Review some of the most commonly asked dental implant questions.
What are dental implants?
Implants are titanium alloy posts designed to placement in the jawbone where they then act as a tooth's root. Dental implants effectively support crowns, fixed bridges or dentures. Titanium is a strong, lightweight material and is used specifically in implants due to its ability to bond with bone, creating long lasting support.
What are the advantages over more conventional forms of tooth replacement?
More traditional dental prosthetics such as crowns, bridges and dentures provide patients with adequate tooth replacement, but implants give patients stable, long-lasting support. Stabilized support allows patients to eat and speak with ease. In addition, due to the fact that implants do not rely on support from surrounding teeth, patients also experience an increase in overall oral health.
Is everyone a candidate for dental implants?
Patients are not automatically qualified for dental implants based solely on the fact that they have missing teeth. Specific criteria need to be looked at and met before a patient can be considered for implantation, including:
General oral health. A patients overall oral health, specifically the condition of their remaining teeth and gums, needs to be in good condition in order for dental implants to be successful. Gum disease, broken teeth or dental decay, if present, will need to be treated before implantation treatments can begin.
Oral health maintenance. Maintaining oral health after treatment is another concern. Success rate will depend on the patient's ability to keep their teeth and gums clean post treatment. A suggested cleaning schedule will be provided by your dentist, and he or she will advise you on how to care for your newly placed implants.
Quality and quantity of bone. Implant success extremely satisfied with the quantity and quality of bone present in the jaw. Without enough surrounding bone, implant placement can be difficult. If patients lack sufficient quality and quantity of bone, a variety of techniques can be used to increase bone quantity for successful implantation.
Is there an age limit on dental implants?
A precise age limit on dental implants is not an immediate factor because each individual differences when it comes to bone growth. During the procedure, implants are placed in the jawbone, so while age is not a factor, bone growth is. Children and some adolescents are not ideal candidates for treatment because their bones are still forming and growing. Additional bone growth in the implant area can compromise and implant-therefore your dentist will recommend that implants not be placed until bone growth is complete.
Are implants guaranteed? What is their success rate?
An implant can not be guaranteed, but this tooth replacement procedure has been extensively tested, and patients have experienced a 90 [95% success rate over 5 to 10 years. With that being said, implants have been known to last over 30 years. Maintenance may be required from time to time, but when patients follow post-implant recommendations, they can experience long-term success.
Will I experience any complications?
Like with any aesthetic or medical procedure, dental implant treatments do come with some risk, however these risks are quite rare and easily treatable. Implant failure and damage to surrounding teeth are the most common complications patients' experience, but with careful pre-treatment planning, risk is greatly minimized.
When implants fail immediately, this is most often because of the presence of infection at the implant site or due to an unfavorable bone pattern. When either of these complications occurs, if the site is left to heal for a period of time (most often a few months) the implant can be successfully reinserted. Patients may also experience implant failure after a few years of initial success. This most common occurs when too much stress has been placed on the implant, or when an insufficient number of implants was initially placed (most often occurs in patients trying to reduce cost). With appropriate treatments however, this risk can also be minimized.
A condition known as perimplantitis is another complication that can result when undergoing implantation. Similar to periodontitis (gum disease), this condition involves inflammation of the gums and progressive loss of bone at the implant site. This can be easily avoided through daily brushing, frequent implant cleaning and regularly scheduled dental visits.