Tooth loss can be a very distressing experience. Whether a person loses one tooth or many teeth, there is a significant amount of emotional distress. Feelings of being disturbed, embarrassed, offended, and getting old are quite common. However, a visit to a dental clinic is enough to know about the various possible solutions to this unjust abandonment.
Tooth loss is the most common dental problem in dental clinics. Tooth loss can be a result of:
- Existing periodontal disease
- Improper dental hygiene
- Use of tobacco
- Conditions like diabetes and hypertension
- Gum disease
- Gap between teeth
- Use of certain medications
- Trauma to the teeth as a result of injury
Beyond all these causes, one can say that not getting timely and professional dental care and not visiting a dental hospital for periodical checkups is an important cause. It’s always better to take preventive care!
How to fix teeth loss?
Losing teeth can lead to both functional and emotional disabilities. Chewing food and fluent speech can be affected. Added to that, there is an emotional aspect of it that cannot be neglected. Placement of dentures for teeth loss has been in use for quite a long time; however, removable or partial dentures have their set of disadvantages that make them unviable.
Disadvantages of removable dentures
- It is known to increase the risk of dental plaque formation
- Known to cause trauma to the neighboring teeth & gum due to the pressure it exerts
- Bone loss at the site of the missing teeth
- Functionality of chewing and fluent speech not complete
- Needs periodical readjustment
- Removable dentures tend o slip, and slide causing discomfort
That is why dental doctors suggest many people with partial or complete teeth loss to go for dental implants. Dental implants are metal frames and posts that are positioned surgically. They are positioned into the jawbone. Because they are fused with the jawbone, they support artificial teeth without the risk of slipping or shifting.
Dental implants are useful for functionality of eating and fluent speech. However, for a person to have dental implants, he/she should have adequate bone and healthy gums. It takes more than two to three visits to a dental clinic to get dental implants fixed.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium root-like structure (post), which is placed with a dental surgery in the jawbone. It allows the dentist to replace a crown or bridge in that area. Unlike dentures, dental implants are fixed prosthesis. Dental restorations done with dental implants almost resemble natural teeth. Dental implants are an excellent solution if one has a lost single tooth or multiple teeth, and those who use dentures.
What are the parts of a dental implant?
Dental implants have mainly three parts:
A dental implant fixture is a screw-like structure that ends up in the jawbone under the gumline. It is generally made of titanium or titanium alloy. Dental implants have the ability to fuse with the bone and form a strong support for restoration.
The abutment is that component of the dental implant which attaches the fixture to the crown or denture. Once the fixture is fused to the bone, dentists screw the abutment to the fixture. Once the abutment is placed, one can wear the crown or the implant-supported denture on it.
Depending upon each individual patient’s needs, dental restoration can be a dental crown, a bridge or an implant-supported denture.
What are the types of dental implants?
According to American Dental Association, there are two types of implants
These are the most common type of dental implants. They are also called root form implants. As the term defines, these implants are surgically placed directly within the jaw bone. The implant resembles small screws, plates, or cylinders. Most of the implants are made up of titanium or titanium alloy which is a biocompatible metal.
After placing the implant, it fuses directly with the surrounding bone through a process called osteointegration. The implant will become part of the jawbone that could last for a lifetime. For the endosteal implant to be successful, the bone needs to be deep and wide enough to provide a secure foundation.
It consists of a metal frame placed over the jawbone under the gum tissue. These implants are advised when there isn’t sufficient healthy natural jawbone. The posts which are attached to the frame protrude through the gums. Restorations are mounted to these posts.
If your jawbone is not able to support dental implants, several other techniques can be used to rebuild the bone and restore the jaw line in order to provide a strong foundation for the implants. These include:
- Bone augmentation – suggested when the jawbone is not able to support the implant.
- Sinus lift – advised when natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.
- Ridge expansion – advised when the ridge is not wide enough.
Depending upon the health of the jawbone and individual needs, dental specialists may suggest alternative treatment options other than the traditional multi-step implant procedure. Various treatment options include:
Immediate load dental implants: These are termed as single day implants or teeth in a day. These implants allow placement of temporary crowns on the same appointment in a dental clinic. It is a good option when there is a good amount of natural bone.
Mini dental implants: These are small, narrow diameter implants. These implants are narrower than most commonly used implants. These are used to stabilize the lower denture.
All-on -4: These are called full arch implants. Four dental implants are placed in each arch. Special abutments are used to place the temporary set of restorations on the same day. Special diet has to be strictly followed until the tissue heals and osteointegration happens.
Advantages of dental implants
- No need of trimming the adjacent teeth to replace a single missing tooth to make a conventional bridge.
- Improves comfort when compared to removable dentures.
- Prevents further bone loss.
- Durability of the restorations will be increased with the dental implants.
- Prevents the dentures from slipping, sliding, and clicking.
Disadvantages of dental implants
There are only a few immediate risks, but these generally clear off very soon. These include
- Temporary bruising of the skin and gums
- Swelling in the gums
- Pain and discomfort for a few days
- Minor bleeding for 24 days
Dental implants are also known to fail in certain cases. Preexisting conditions and lack of care are known to cause dental implant failure. These include:
- When the bone fails to fuse with the implant, then they become loose and experience other problems. Patients who smoke, have untreated osteoporosis, have uncontrolled diabetes or drink a lot of alcohol are most likely to experience the implant failure.
- Implant fracture occurs when undue stress and pressure are exerted on the implant. The implant has to be removed completely and a new one is placed after a few months. Fracture happens if the patient has severe tooth grinding or teeth clenching habit. It can occur if the implant is placed in wrong spot.
Dental implants price
Dental implants are restorations that help dental prosthesis to remain anchored in the jawbone. Depending upon the number of implants and the type of implants, prices of the dental implants vary. The brand or make of the dental implants also affects its price.
There are a variety of implants; the price of each dental implant may vary from 35k to 70k (Indian Rupees). A team of well experienced dental surgeons at a dental clinic or a dental hospital would suggest the best implants depending upon the medical requirement and affordability of the patient. Selection of the implant and selection of the case are the two main steps in the dental implant treatment procedure.
Tooth loss is something that should never be neglected as it can affect healthy teeth surrounding the lost teeth. If you or any of your family members have teeth loss, consult a nearby dental clinic and compare it with a second opinion in order to choose the best dental implant that suits your condition.
If you any other queries regarding dental implants, feel free to write to us in the comments section or consult our dental clinic.