What are dental implants?
Dental implant is a root replacement or artificial tooth root (fixture) that interfaces with the bone of the jaw which formerly occupied by a tooth or teeth.
The amazing thing about dental implant is that they actually fuse with, or “integrate” into the bone, a process known as “osseo-integration” (osseo – bone; integrate – to become part of). Implant is made of titanium which is osteophilic (bone loving property). After the implant osseo-integrate with your jawbone, a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge and denture is added.
Advantages of dental implants
It's the next best thing to healthy natural teeth
Strong and stable, a dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth.
It protects the bone
Bone resorption (bone loss) happens when teeth are lost. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates bone growth and prevent bone loss.
Enjoy life without worrying about your teeth
No need to stay home or feel uncomfortable in public, embarrassed because your smile looks different, or worrying that missing teeth will limit your ability to join in the fun or that removable dentures will loosen or fall out when you talk, eat or laugh.
It retains your natural face shape, and smile
A face without teeth can sag and appear sunken and sad. Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.
It's built to last
Dental implants are a long-term solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years, but at some point they may need to be replaced. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for over time.
You can eat your favourite foods
Taste and enjoy the foods you love without hesitation. You can bite naturally, eat virtually anything you want and, unlike removable dentures that can feel uncomfortable, you can experience the full taste of the food you eat with dental implants, too.
It protects the rest of your healthy teeth
Placing a tooth-supported bridge requires grinding away the teeth on one or both sides of the missing tooth or teeth – thereby damaging healthy teeth to restore those that are missing. The modified healthy teeth are attached to, and support, the bridge. Dental implants go in the jawbone, in the spot where your missing tooth root was, without impacting healthy teeth. They also help prevent healthy, adjacent teeth from shifting as they would if an empty space were left for an extended period of time.
Types of dental implants
Single tooth replacement
Using one implant supported by a single crown.
Multiple teeth replacement
Multiple missing teeth can be replaced with multiple implants supporting fixed bridgework as small as 3-unit bridge supported by two implants, or with multiple implants supporting a greater number of teeth. Usually 4-8 implants are needed to replace a full arch of teeth, supported by fixed bridgework or removable denture.
Combinations of fixed and removable prosthesis
Where implants are used to support a section of fixed bridgework, to which is attached a removable section.
Basic Prerequisites for a Successful Implant and Natural-Looking Cosmetic Result
• Sufficient quantity and quality of bone to anchor the implant
• Adjacent teeth and gums are healthy and,
• The quality of the adjacent teeth is good.
At SmileBay, we have a digital X-Ray Imaging, Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) which not only ensures that our patients have enough bone to anchor a successful implant, but also determine with high precision the exact position of the implant to be fixed. This technology enables us to plan cases more effectively and to achieve a high success rate.
Dental implant care guide
Implant-borne teeth not only look like natural teeth. They can be cleaned just as easily with a toothbrush — including an electric toothbrush — and tooth paste. When cleaning implants, the spaces between the teeth and the transitions to the gums are particularly important. These areas are colonised by bacteria that attack the gum and over time they can also attack the jawbone around the implant. This can be prevented with dental floss or small interdental brushes.
Your dentist will show you how to handle the oral hygiene kits and will provide professional cleaning at regular intervals — every three months. This will remove stubborn plaque and your teeth will look as good as new. You should also make regular prophylaxis appointments with your dentist.