Health CareTips and IDEAS

What Are Dental Implants?

Wearing dentures and getting bridge work done can leave you with an uncomfortable feeling when talking or eating. Bridges require the removal of some viable tooth and dentures can be ill-fitting if you have hard ridges on the gums. The use of implants ensures a solid fit for artificial teeth that lasts for years. It is a procedure that can be used to replace missing teeth and improve self-esteem. They are custom fit to match existing teeth perfectly. The materials are durable and designed to be tolerated by the human body.

How Implants Work

Your dentist will first do an overall health assessment to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure. The implants will then be placed in the jawbone and the healing process begins. The goal is to get the bone to start growing around the steel to stabilize the foundation. This part of the process can take a few weeks to months. You will then have the artificial teeth attached to the rods inserted into the jaw. You are then able to see the completed results.

Types of Approved Dental Implants

There are only two methods of implants that are approved by the American Dental Association and they are:

Subperiosteal – The metal framework for the artificial teeth is inserted below the gums surgically. After a period of healing the posts are added and the artificial crown mounted.

Endosteal – Surgical posts are implanted into the bone and allowed to heal and bond with the jaw. The artificial crowns are then added to the ends of the posts.

Successful Implant Candidates

Implant procedures are surgical and require an extended period of healing. The most successful candidates will be in overall good health. Diabetes, leukemia and autoimmune disorders can compromise healing and increase the risk of complications. Discuss any ongoing medical problems before deciding on this type of surgery. Some drugs are not suitable for people with several conditions, and sometimes a drug may only be used if extra care is taken. The physician may refer you to other specialists, including a urologist and other counselors. Generally, healthcare providers are trained in all of these issues. For example the liquid medicaments if possible must be kept in the cool place, but it may be stored at room temperature.

Aftercare and Implants

It is true that implants can last for many years, but extra care has to be given after the procedure and over the years to ensure that the jaw stays healthy. Soft foods are a necessity as the implants and bone fuse together. Extra careful hygiene efforts to make sure food particles do not get stuck in areas that can cause bone deterioration in the jaw. Proper care will help them last a lifetime.

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