Dental implants: A long term solution for replacing teeth

Dental implants are placed in an individual's jaw through a surgical procedure. Unlike dentures, implants cannot be removed and must be taken care of along with an individual's other teeth using optimum oral health practices. These implants consist of dental screws that are surgically placed in place of the missing teeth, after a period of time, bone growth occurs, covering the implant and holding it firmly in place. Once this bone growth occurs, a crown or artificial tooth is placed on top. This tooth is made to resemble the patient's other healthy teeth so that it cannot be distinguished once the procedure is complete.  

Who can get a dental implant?

Not everyone is able to get a dental implant, as there are certain conditions that must be met. In order for a dental implant to be implanted, the patient must have a healthy jawbone and gums and should have under control any medical condition that impairs their healing ability. It is important to discuss suitability with a professional dentist. 

What are the steps in getting a dental implant?

A series of steps are required to get dental implants fixed, requiring several visits to a specialist dentist. Initially, the dentist will take a few scans and x-rays to take a thorough look at the patient's jaw structure and current positioning of the teeth. This will allow the dentist to determine where the implant needs to be placed. Following this, a minor surgical procedure is carried out to place the implant in the jaw bone. Once the bone grows around the implant, the dentist will schedule another appointment to create a mold for the artificial teeth to be placed on top of the implant. In the final step, the artificial tooth/teeth are fixed on top of the implant.

Are there any side effects following the procedure?

Patients can expect a small degree of swelling, redness and bleeding at the site of the procedure, but any excessive pain or bleeding should be reported immediately, as there is a small risk of infection. Additionally a soft diet is recommended following the procedure to prevent straining the tender area. 

Cost of the procedure

Dental implants are an expensive option and can cost thousands of dollars, depending upon how many implants are required. It is important to conduct careful research in this area and have a thorough discussion with a specialist dentist prior to making this decision.