Many people prefer dental implants because they tend to remain in the mouth – though there are some that can be detachable like dentures – and not need extra care at night beyond regular brushing and flossing with the other natural teeth. They are long-lasting, with most needing to be changed in 25 years. That’s a lifetime for many who get them.
This is not a process that one enters into lightly. A variety of specialists may be called in to ensure that everything will go smoothly. These specialists include an oral surgeon and a periodontist. There will be a very thorough exam that includes 3-D models of the patient’s mouth and also X-rays. This is a complex undertaking and every box needs to be checked off before proceeding to the next step.
There are several requirements that a patient has to fulfill – they have to have no underlying conditions like diabetes or leukemia, their gums have to be healthy and there has to be enough mass in their jawbone to support the screw that is going to fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration.
Another thing that the dentist or surgeon will make sure of is that the patient does not smoke. The tobacco can stain the replacement tooth.
Once everything has been checked and every mouth model made, then the real work begins. Bear in mind that this is usually a two-to-six month process and will be done in stages. There are some dentists who will boast that they can do them in one day post-extraction. Those will need a lot of monitoring and there is a greater chance of failure and lack of implant stability. The longer the wait, the better the chances… and many people reason that this wait is worth it for the near quarter-century of tooth stability and durability.
Should the dentist find that there is not enough bone mass, he or she will do a bone graft to attempt to bring it up to where it should be to support the implant and the fusion. If not, then mini implants or implant-supported dentures may be the second best thing. Dentures themselves may be the only choice – but that will be the final option.
If there is enough bone mass then the dentist or oral surgeon will insert the titanium screw into the jaw. Why titanium? Research has found that that is the best material to fuse with the jaw bone. The tooth and gum area are fully cleaned out before that… though another bonus with the implant is that no surrounding teeth have to be removed or altered to make room for it, unlike things like a bridge.
Then there is a healing period. To make up for any aesthetic problems, the patient may get a temporary denture to cover the gap. Once the dentist has deemed that there has been enough healing, he or she will then put in an abutment to secure the replacement tooth. There is a bit more of a wait while that heals, and then the tooth, which is also called a crown, is put into place in the abutment. The patient now has a dental implant.
One thing that people should be aware of, despite it being very rare, is that there is the possibility of the implant being rejected due to an allergic reaction. They should be on the lookout for symptoms like hives-like bumps on their skin, bone loss, eczema, and swelling around the implant. If they see any of those, they need to get back to the doctor.
Fortunately, this rarely happens because the dentist or specialist will do a thorough exam and search through the patient’s medical history. There are also options for implants that do not involve titanium screws. Again, everything will be discussed before the first part of the procedure even begins.
If you live in the Frederick or Hagerstown area, you will find yourself in the best hands at Acadia Dental and Dentures when it comes to dental implants. Give them a call at either location to make an appointment and start the process.
Acadia Dental and Dentures
1303 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: (301) 797-2538
490 Prospect Blvd.
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: (301) 662-1760