Dental implants are a modern way to replace missing teeth. At the same time, today these artificial teeth look and functions just like real ones. A dental implant is a titanium alloy screw that is embedded in the jawbone.
Once a tooth is extracted or lost, the bone that supported that tooth no longer receives the functional load it used to. That [implants] means that this part of the bone doesn’t get nutrients and slowly dissolves. So another advantage of dental implants is that they maintain your jawbone load and thus support your facial skeleton.
What dental implants consist of
Modern dental implants usually consist of two parts:
- Implant itself (i.e., the post that is placed into the bone)
- Abutment. It is a device that is attached to the implant, and a crown or a denture in turn is cemented onto abutment.
The dental implant installation is performed under local anesthesia and is therefore absolutely painless.
Once the dental implant is placed in the jawbone, it sits there for 3-6 months. During this period, it can fully anchor to the bone. This process is called osseointegration.
Why implants are better than prosthetic treatment
Currently, it is still common to use an old traditional treatment for lost teeth – prostheses, and the most "popular" procedure is dental bridges. It is known that to place a bridge the dentist has to file down two adjacent teeth, which support the bridge.
At the same time, it is worth noting that the abutment teeth that support the bridge are not durable, and over the time, they may be affected by the decay, become loose under the bridge load.
Moreover, as it’s already been mentioned, the bone under the bridge doesn’t get the functional load. The implant by contrast provides the load, which supports normal blood supply in this part of the jaw and prevents its dissolving.
Another advantage of dental implants is that there is no need to file down the adjacent teeth.
When dental implants are used
Dental implants can be used for
- a single tooth replacement.
- several teeth replacement.
- full mouth replacement.
If several teeth in a row are missing, it is common to use removable partial dentures. These prostheses are often made of plastic, and they attach to adjacent teeth with metal clasps.
Dental implants in Minsk, disadvantages
The disadvantage of these prostheses is that they often cause discomfort when wearing and chewing. In addition, under their influence the abutment teeth holding the prostheses begin to decay and become loose. Among the other disadvantages of prostheses is increased accumulation of food particles under prostheses, risk of failure, etc.
In case of all teeth missing in one or both jaws, the common replacement treatment is complete denture. The number of disadvantages is proportional to the number of missing teeth. Among them:
- Poor fixation (although special denture adhesives have recently appeared, but can you imagine how it feels to wear constantly a plastic prosthesis in the mouth?)
- Falling out dentures when fixed poorly (by the way, quite an embarrassing situation)
- Dentures take a lot of space in the mouth (they imitate not only teeth but also gums, to which dentures are attached to, at the same time the part of the dental implant is physiologically "hidden" in the jawbone, and a visible part is a "tooth” itself),
- Dentures often change a person’s speech,
- Dentures require regular care (to put false teeth in a glass of water - it is not exactly the way to do it).
At the end of the day, we come back to our implants. A few implants ensure quite a good denture stability. In this case, two implants are placed into the lower jawbone and appropriate denture is provided, and in the upper jaw there are four implants.
Types of Dental Implants
Nowadays various types of implants are available, including root-like, screw, plate and combined. They differ mainly in the shape of the part implanted in the lower jawbone.
Besides, depending on how and where implants are placed, they can be:
- Subperiosteal implants
- Transosteal implants
- Endosseous implants (the most common implants today).