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Dental Implants: What are they and who needs them?

by | Dec 16, 2018 | Health

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that allow a dentist to mount replacement tooth for someone who has lost a tooth due to an injury or some other reason. They are titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jaw beneath the gums to serve as the roots of missing teeth. Dental implants look just like natural teeth. Periodontists are dental experts who specialize in placing implants. A person who wants to receive dental implants in Parramatta must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. Dental implants require regular maintenance by the dentist for them to last long.

Types of implants

There are two types of dental implants.

Endosteal implant: The implants are placed into the jawbone. They can be shaped like screws or cylinders and they are the most commonly used type of implant. An implant can hold one or more false teeth.

Subperiosteal implants: The implants are made out of a metal framework and are attached under the gum but above the jawbone with protruding small metal posts. This is a good option for patients who do not have a healthy natural jawbone.

Who can get dental implants?

A patient who wants to get a dental implant must have good general and oral health. The patient should have adequate bone in his jaw to support the implant. The gums should also be free of any disease.

Getting the implant

The procedure for getting dental implants involves teamwork between the dentist and periodontist. The periodontist and dentist will consult with the patient and a detailed assessment of the mouth and jaw is carried out to know where and how to place the implants. X-rays and CT scans may be used to achieve this.

The periodontist then creates a plan for the procedure according to the patient’s condition and type of implant chosen.

It is easier to place an implant than to take a tooth out. A local anesthetic is given to make it a painless process. General anesthetics are only used for very complicated cases.

After placing the implants, the jawbone will grow and fuse to them within a few months

It usually takes 3 to 4 months before the false teeth are fitted. Nowadays, some false teeth called immediate implants can be fitted at the same time as the implants. The dentist will schedule periodic follow-up visits to monitor the implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are in good health.

How long will dental implants last?

This depends on how well a patient takes care of the implants. A regular maintenance checkup with the dentist is very important for the implants to last long. The teeth attached to the implants are easy to clean just like natural teeth. Patients who smoke need to look after their implants more carefully because smoke affects the health of the implants. If implants are not well cared for, they can lead to gum infection. A patient who plays contact sport should wear a mouthguard to prevent accidents that may damage the implant.