Dental implants are metal devices used for replacing one or more teeth, supporting crowns, or securing dentures in place. The implant is surgically embedded into the jawbone. This can be done on the lower or upper jaw. An implant functions as a synthetic tooth root by acting as a base for an artificial tooth or crown. Bridges can also be secured with a dental implant. Implants are typically constructed from varying grades of titanium.
The procedure for inserting dental implants begins with a dentist or oral surgeon administering an anesthetic to the patient in order to numb the area. The dentist makes one incision in the gum. This creates a small opening, so the dentist can drill a hole in the bone of the jaw. Once a hole is made, the implant is fused to the bone. Implants are typically cylinders with cover screws. After the implant is anchored, the incision is stitched shut.
The entire procedure may take up to several hours, however, most surgeries are completed within one hour. The patient may feel soreness for several weeks, but it can be alleviated with pain medication. Typically, an artificial tooth gets connected to the dental implant after three months. In some cases, it may take up to six months for an artificial tooth to be secured. Complications from dental implant surgeries are rare.
There are many benefits to getting dental implants. Implants are long-lasting, and the surgery has a notably high success rate compared to other tooth restructuring methods. Dental implants are self-supporting, so they are durable. They do not affect any surrounding teeth in the way a full bridge can. Dental implants also look and feel like natural teeth, which means less embarrassment and more comfort.
The cost for dental implant surgery depends on the scope of the procedure. The type of implant and the number of implants needed can affect the cost. Patients with poor oral health or insufficient bone in the jaw may need a more extensive treatment. Anyone who has lost one or more teeth due to disease or injury can benefit from dental implants.