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Everything you need to know about dental implants in India

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth used to support one or more false teeth and help to stop or prevent jaw bone loss. It is a titanium screw that can replace the root of a tooth when it fails. Just like a tooth root, it is placed into the jawbone.

By replacing missing tooth roots, dental implants provide people with the strength and stability required to eat all the foods they love, without struggling to chew. Additionally, they help to stimulate and maintain jaw bone, preventing bone loss and helping to support facial features.

What are the types of dental implants? Why are they used?

1. Traditional dental implants- These dental implants are minimally invasive and about the width and length of a typical tooth root. They can be used independently or paired with other implants when necessary.

2. Mini dental implants- Mini dental implants are less than half the size of a traditional implant; they’re both shorter and narrower. Mini implants are ideal for scenarios where there is little space or very narrow bone in the ridge of the jaw. Either a traditional implant won’t fit there, or there wouldn’t be enough bone to encompass it.

3. Zygomatic dental implants- Let’s say you don’t have enough bone in your mouth to support dental implants. Over time the bone in the ridge of your “jaw” may have shrunk from past disease, trauma, or aging. In scenarios like these, specialists can use an elongated version of dental implants called “zygomatic” implants. The zygoma is the arch that most of us refer to as the “cheek bone.” But it’s closely situated near the bone in your upper jaw. That way if there’s not enough bone where your tooth roots used to be, the zygomatic implant can be angled up into the zygomatic arch of bone.

What are the Categories of dental implants?

1. Single tooth implants- Are you only missing one tooth? Then an individual dental implant and crown will be all that you need. The implant sets immediately next to your other teeth, preventing any alteration to their structure. In fact, the implant can add support to help you maintain natural tooth alignment.

2. Dental implant bridges- Let’s say you’re missing a few teeth in a row. In a conventional scenario, you might be looking at wearing a removable partial denture. When there are 3-4 missing teeth, it’s just not possible to affix a traditional bridge onto the remaining teeth on either side. However, it is possible to use a pair of implants at each side of the gap to permanently anchor a multi-tooth implant bridge.

3. Implant supported dentures- Maybe you just want to go “old school” and get traditional dentures. That’s perfectly fine! The issue with dentures is that they rely on a strong seal underneath the “plate” and against your gum tissues. If you have thin bone, it may cause the denture to feel loose or rock around throughout the day. This scenario can lead to additional bone loss, sore spots, and difficulty doing normal things like eating or talking. To prevent that, we can affix small locators on the under-side of your new denture and a corresponding dental implant at that site inside of your mouth.

4. All on 4- When you need to replace all of your teeth at once, and you want a permanent solution — All-on-4 implants are probably the most popular choice. These dental specialists use four strategically placed implants to support a slim, streamlined device that follows the contour of your mouth. It’s like a denture and a dental bridge hybrid. There’s no “plate” over the roof of your mouth.

What happens before, during, and after dental implant surgery?

How you treat your oral health before dental implant surgery is just as important as any other step in the process.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will first do a comprehensive examination to determine the best to determine the condition of your jawbone and the best dental implant procedure. This initial evaluation includes X-rays, taking impressions, and matching the color of your teeth to make your implant look as natural as possible.

Your dentist will give you comprehensive pre-surgery instructions to follow. Your instructions may include the following:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast on surgery day. However, if you are receiving a sedative for your surgery, your dentist will ask you to not eat food the evening before your surgery.
  • You may be asked to use a special antibacterial mouthwash in the days leading up to your surgery.
  • Secure a reliable transportation to and from your surgery.
  • Of course, you should maintain excellent oral care before your surgery to ensure your gums are ready to withstand implants.

During surgery-

If you still have a remaining tooth that needs replacing, your dentist will remove it before the dental work is performed. You can have this done at the same time as the implant insertion.

After the implant is added to your jawbone, the jawbone will begin to grow around the implant. The implant then becomes part of your natural gum line. This process varies by person and can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months. Your jaw needs to be strong because there is a lot of pressure when you chew, and you need your bone to be strong to protect that implant. If your jaw needs some extra bone, this bone typically comes from another area of your jawbone away from the implant area. Call us at 011 41606066 to know about the “grafting procedures” and the ideal implant for you.

Once your implant is stable enough, the dentist will place an abutment on top of the implant. This piece connects the implant to your crown. This can be done either with the implant placement or after a few months depending upon the case.

After your gums heal, your dentist will make your artificial tooth or crown.

After surgery-

It’s natural to have some discomfort after the surgery. You may notice some bruising on your gums, swelling around your gums and face, some minor bleeding, and some pain at the implant site. You should stock up on some soft foods after the surgery. You may also want to have some ice packs on hand to help reduce any swelling. Avoid tobacco and smoking because it could increase your chance of infections and stain your teeth. It’s important that you keep up good hygiene habits to protect this implant. That means flossing daily and brushing your teeth twice a day. Avoid chewing hard candies that could damage your implants.

What are the potential risks with a dental implant?

While there is a chance that things go wrong with dental implants, many of the problems are short-lived. Most of these occur during the early stages before the tooth gets attached. Some of the problems could be –

1. Find the right dentist- It is important to find a reputable dentist who has gone through proper certification and has registered with the Dental council of India. They will understand the proper procedures and guidelines. This reduces your risk of infection and other dental implant problems.

2. Lack of bone- if your jaw bone is less or is lacking in any way, the dentist will have to perform additional procedures to enhance the bone that is ideal for the implant success. An experienced dentist can increase your bone volume by grafts or other specialized techniques.

3. A medical condition that can affect healing- in case you have diabetes, gum diseases or cancer, you may have delayed healing. This is also true for people who smoke, consume alcohol or take medications for other ailments.

4. Infection- You can expect swelling, mild pain, or discomfort for 1-4 days after your procedure. Beyond that, something may be wrong and you should consult your dentist. Most issues involved with infections and poor healing are a result of patients not following the proper post-surgery directions. On rare occasions, an infection develops more than a month after surgery. In most cases, an underlying issue that wasn’t detected before the procedure took place caused the infection. If an infection or poor healing gets caught early, it’s dealt with accordingly and the later stages can carry on with success.

5. Non compliance of doctors’ orders- Not following doctor’s orders will result in implant failure or problems. The instructions will be straightforward like reducing physical activity and keeping the site clean. You will also need to follow dietary restrictions and take your medication as prescribed.

Bottom line

Missing or damaged teeth can be caused by injury or infection. If you’re bothered by the appearance of a gap in your mouth, talk with the award winning dentist Dr. Harleen Gandhi Kalsi about the best type of procedure for you.

Since your existing teeth may shift in an effort to lessen the gap, missing teeth may alter your jaw or facial shape over time. They can also affect your bite.

Call us at 011 41606066 to book an appointment at Meraki dental studio and discuss in detail about your oral health.