Dental implants – Components, types, and benefits
Oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing are incredibly essential. Not caring for the teeth can cause them to decay and even fall off in extreme cases. Consequently, missing teeth can make chewing food complicated and cause extreme discomfort. To manage the problem, dentists affix dental implants in the jawbone that replace the lost teeth. Here is a quick guide on how implants work and their popular types and benefits.
How do dental implants work?
A dental implant effectively works both as a root and a tooth. The three components of a dental implant are:
- The implant
The implant is placed carefully into the jawbone using surgery. It is made of biocompatible titanium, which means that, once placed into the jawbone, it will integrate with it gradually over three to six months. This is a slow but effective process called osseointegration.
- The abutment
This is a component used to attach the implant to its restoration.
- The restoration
Depending on the individual needs and the dentist’s recommendations, this component can be a porcelain crown, denture, or bridge.
Types of dental implants
The following are a few popular types of dental implants one may come across:
- Endosteal implants
These are the most common type of dental implants consisting of titanium screws or cylinders placed into the jawbone with the help of a surgery. Once the surgery is successful and the implants have integrated with the bone properly, the teeth can be attached to these implants. Endosteal implants are usually recommended for individuals with good bone density and volume.
- Subperiosteal implants
This is an alternative procedure for those who do not have the required bone density and volume for endosteal implants. Here, the titanium screw or cylinder is placed on top of the jawbone (instead of into it), right below the gum tissue. A metal framework keeps this implant in place and supports artificial teeth attached to it.
- All-on-4 implants
This unique implant is used when individuals lose many teeth due to substantial tooth decay, accidents, or other reasons. Here, just four main implants support an entire arch of teeth. All-on-4 implants form a secure foundation for new teeth to be attached and improve teeth functionality, which benefits many patients.
- Zygomatic implants
This implant is specifically for those with excessive bone loss in the upper jaw. In such cases, the implant cannot be installed in the maxillary bone, as usual, and can only be affixed in the zygoma or the cheekbone. No bone grafting procedure is needed for zygomatic implants, making them a preferred option for many.
- Mini dental implants
When choosing an implant, dentists measure the space between two teeth. If the distance is less, mini dental implants may be recommended as they have a smaller diameter than traditional implants. This kind of procedure is best when there is a need for a single crown.
- Immediate load implants
These kinds of implants are also known as single-day implants or teeth-in-a-day implants. Usually, patients have to wait for some time before restoration takes place after the implant surgery, but with this quick fix, one can get restoration the same day.
The best implant for a person will depend on their oral health and how much stress their bone structure can support at the time of the diagnosis. So, it is vital to do a detailed analysis and diagnosis before committing to a dental procedure.
Benefits of dental implants
There are several benefits to getting dental implants. Here are a few of them to explore:
- Last for a long time
A dental implant can last for a long time or even a lifetime. Since it is made from titanium and integrates with the jawbone, it turns into healthy teeth roots. It is non-toxic and hence does not get rejected by the body, making it completely safe and healthy.
- Prevent bone loss
Missing teeth can cause an empty space in the jaw, which can widen due to a lack of stimulation to the bone. When implants are placed, they fill up and integrate into the bone, preventing further bone deterioration.
- Keep adjacent teeth stable
A gap between two teeth can cause the teeth to shift towards the empty space, leading to crooked teeth. This can also pull the teeth away from their natural position and affect chewing. Dental implants can keep the adjacent teeth in place, preventing these problems.
- Reduce the risk of gum disease
The risk of gum disease and infection increases when there is a gap in the teeth. This is because the gap can trap food particles, accumulating bacteria in the mouth.
Individuals suffering from missing teeth should speak to a dentist about the best treatment plan for them. The dentist can recommend a suitable type of dental implant to make chewing easier and lessen discomfort. The expert can also suggest tips to maintain the implant and prevent tooth problems in the future. However, it is important to note that dental implants are not the only solution to lost teeth. In some cases, the dentist may recommend using removable dentures or other alternatives.