Dental implants are an extremely advanced treatment that involves the replacement of the entire tooth. Often, a dental implant is the ultimate step in replacing a tooth, as it will succeed where other treatments may fail. Dental implants can be expensive, however due to their longevity, they are considered good value for money, as it is unlikely you will ever need a replacement for the implant itself.
Losing a tooth
Teeth can be lost in several different ways. One of the main ways a tooth can be lost is due to tooth decay. Tooth decay can be caused by poor dental hygiene, which will allow bacteria, and subsequently acids to develop on the teeth. This will eat away at the enamel and expose your teeth to infection.
Diseases such as periodontitis can also cause a loss of teeth, which can make dental hygiene futile, and also cause the loss of several teeth at once, in some cases all teeth. Dental implants can serve as a foundation to building a set of teeth in this case, and provide support for bridges, dentures, and all-on-four treatment in some cases.
Teeth can also be lost suddenly, in accidents and injuries. A tooth that has been knocked out is known as a dental avulsion, and if the tooth is lost or destroyed, it will need a permanent replacement. Often the tooth can remain intact, but the root cells have been crushed, which will be invisible to the naked eye, and render the tooth unable to rejoin the gum Therefore, if you have knocked out a tooth, never touch the root of the tooth, and store the tooth in milk instead of water.
How do dental implants work?
Once you have decided on receiving a dental implant, you will be taken for a dental implant consultation, which will determine whether you are eligible for a dental implant. Those who might not be will either have a lack of jawbone, or their sinuses are too low or too large. Any condition where there is not enough jawbone for the implant to remain secure can put the treatment at risk. Therefore, it is important that you have an extensive consultation prior to any treatment, to ensure that your treatment will be successful.
Once you have been proven eligible, then the treatment can begin. Firstly, the gum is opened to expose the jawbone, and a small hole is drilled. Next, your dentist will carefully insert a titanium screw into the hole, which is the basis of the dental implant. Once it has been successfully inserted, it will be left for a period of six weeks to six months, to allow the jawbone to grow around the implant, securing it in place. When the bone has secured the implant, then a crown can be added, and the dental implant treatment is complete. It is important to come for check-ups afterwards, to ensure that the implant is working successfully, and that any issues with it can be tackled early on.