Dental implants in West Bridgford have become a mainstay in restorative care, but this does not mean that all implementations are equal. Certainly, oral implants show more variability in the outcome than many other cosmetic procedures. But why? What factors are involved, and how do patients get the most out of implants?
Why get oral implants at all?
Oral implants are the most complete solution for replacing teeth. Unlike many other restorations, they do not require a healthy root or any other part of the tooth to build up from. They can be installed into a recently vacant socket or the space of a tooth lost many decades ago. They can be used in a stand-alone way replacing a single tooth with a single prosthetic crown or be used in sets to anchor larger prosthetics like independent bridges or an entire denture.
Pretreatment is extremely important, as screening and assessing a patient’s suitability for implants is critical in a successful procedure. There are several lifestyle factors like smoking and uncontrolled diabetes that significantly reduce the chance of successful implantation. There are also genetic factors like the rate of bone growth that has to be considered.
The volume and density of the jawbone are critical in setting the implant securely in place; this is assessed with x-rays and sometimes CT scanning. There are ways of preparing or increasing bone density in the jaw if it is found to be lacking, usually in the form of grafting or sinus lifts.
The treatment itself occurs in two distinct stages. One is the placing of the implants into the jaw bone, which is done by opening the gum and exposing the underlying bone. If there is a vacant socket, the implant is simply placed. If a socket needs to be formed, a hole is made in the jawbone of the appropriate diameter.
The gum is then closed over the implant and stitched or glued. The gum tissue helps to support the implant as new bone grows around it, permanently fusing it in place much like a titanium surgical pin.
In the second stage, the top of the implant is exposed by making a much smaller incision into the gum. This allows the crown or prosthetic to be attached. By completing the procedure in phases, the implant is allowed to become fully integrated into the jawbone without it disturbing patients’ everyday routine. It takes 4 to 12 months between the two procedures, depending on the patient’s overall health and rate of bone growth.
The recovery and long-term treatment
As the majority of the establishment of the implant happens in between the two procedures, the recovery time after the loading of the implant is negligible so you can use your newly installed teeth the day they are fitted.
If the implant is not fully established (as confirmed by x-ray), the tooth would not be installed, and the implant would have to be removed. The majority of the complications and limitations of oral implants occur between these two procedures.
The care and maintenance of an implant are the same as any other tooth, requiring check-ups every six months, twice daily brushing and flossing. Many patients say their implant is indistinguishable from the rest of their teeth, which is one of the things that have made them so popular.