According to studies, 69 percent of adults between the ages of 35 to 44 have lost at least one tooth to gum disease, an accident, a failed root canal, or tooth decay. Also, by age 74, 26 percent of the population no longer have any of their permanent teeth.
Before the perfecting of dental implants, dentures were the only option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Dental implants are the solution of choice for replacing missing teeth. Implants do not rest on the gum line as do removable dentures nor do they use adjoining teeth as anchors as do fixed bridgework. Instead, implants are synthetic teeth and put in the place of the replacement tooth's root. Implants are attached to the bone in the jaw or a metal foundation on the jaw bone to serve as the base for an artificial tooth or a permanent bridge. Some times, the implant can be used for the attachment of dentures.
Benefits of implants include: they are indistinguishable from natural teeth; dentures need replacing every 7 to 14 years - implants do not; implants are more comfortable than dentures and full or partial dentures can shift and click embarrassingly.
Unfortunately, some patients are not candidates for implants. In order for an implant to succeed, a patient must have the correct bone density and a robust immune system. When a patient does have the procedure they must follow a stringent routine of oral hygiene.
Implants are exceedingly well designed and have the look and feel of human teeth. Constructed of materials such as metal or ceramic, implants are bio-compatible with only a few instances of rejection. After over 20 years of use, a great majority of implants placed by dental surgeons are still in use by patients who have expressed satisfaction with their decision.
Once a patient makes the decision to go ahead with an implant, the procedure will require a lot of teamwork between the patient, the oral surgeon, and the restorative dentist, who makes the tooth that fits over the implant, from beginning and continues until treatment is complete.
After x-rays and a careful examination of a patient's over-all oral health the fist step in an implant is a surgical procedure to get the implant area ready and insert the implant in the mouth. Sometimes, a follow-up surgery is scheduled to place metal post into the implant. The patient receives sedation for implant surgery and is given antibiotics to prevent infection after the procedure.
Following the placement of the implant a recuperative period is necessary so that the implant will take hold and bone tissue regenerates to anchor the implant.