Planning to get dental implants?
Here’s what you should know!

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial substitute for the tooth root, on which a crown (prosthesis) can be applied. It a biocompatible material made of ceramic, titanium, alloy, etc. and is available in different shapes, sizes, and surface textures. Sometime the surface of an implant is treated with substances like hydroxyapatite to enhance positive interaction between the implant surface and the bone.


What are the pros and cons?

The biggest advantage of dental implants is long-term replacement of missing teeth, without the need to cut surrounding teeth (providing for fixed bridges or FPD). Dental implants can restore oral wellness, improve the form and function of the teeth, and enhance your smile.

Nevertheless, implants have a somewhat greater danger of failing compared to traditional treatments (FPD), although the success of implants has been reported to be more than 90% in clinical literature. Typical post-operative difficulties may also occur, such as infection, loss of stability, and injury to the nerve. Cost may also be a factor, as implants are usually expensive and not covered by insurance.

When should you explore obtaining dental implants?

Implants can usually be added at any time, however the best time for positioning an oral implant is within the first six months after the original teeth have been removed. Once the treatment is scheduled, proper preparation must be done to achieve optimal tooth removal and bone preservation, and prepare the site for the implant.

Is everyone a candidate for a dental implant?

Certain patient groups such as smokers, tobacco chewers, seniors, and those with inadequate oral hygiene or systemic problems such as diabetes are all at a greater risk for implant failing. A thorough medical history, dental examination and radiographs to assess bone quality and the position of structural frameworks is necessary prior to dental implant positioning.

Myths on implants busted

One dental implant for one tooth!

Not true! If numerous teeth need to be replaced in a row, a dentist can prepare a prosthesis over fewer implants to minimize the total treatment cost. Recently, a number of articles have shown great success of full mouth dentures over just four implants in each jaw (all on 4 principles).

Implant surgical procedure harms!

Implant surgery is a straightforward multi-step procedure (sometimes in one solitary phase) and is similar to a regular dental procedure. The dentist can accomplish pain control with a local anesthetic and the implant process is very similar to tooth removal in terms of pain, time, and problems. Regular antibiotics and pain medication (analgesics) are encouraged after the surgical treatment for one week or less.

After the procedure, implants do not need any kind of additional treatment

INCORRECT! This is an often repeated myth associated with dental implants. Good oral hygiene, appropriate control of systemic problems such as diabetes mellitus, and the cessation of incapacitating practices is essential for long-term dental implant success. The individual should undergo regular dental exams, as well as specialist follow-ups for at least a year to stay clear of bone loss and implant failing.

Information retrieved from: Dr. Ravi Sharma. October 29, 2013.