A dental implantation is a surgery where a dentist screws in a titanium fixture (the implant) into the jaw bone. This implant acts like an artificial root for one’s tooth, while anchoring it in place. The procedure is quite lengthy, and as with any surgery, it has its pros and cons. Per-Ingvar Branemark is considered to be the pioneer in developing titanium based dental implants.
People who are ideal candidates for receiving dental implants are:
- Those who have had a tooth/several teeth knocked out because of an injury
- Those who need firm and secure support for their denture(s)
- Those looking for alternatives to bridges and dentures
Those who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease may be able to get implants as well. However since adequate bone in the jaw is required to provide foundation to the implant, the candidates should ideally have healthy gum tissues, free of disease.
When enough bone isn’t already available to support the implant, the gum is removed from the ridge to uncover the imperfection of the bone. This defect is then filled, and the procedure is known as ‘Ridge modification’. This has been shown to improve the general appearance of the implants to a great extent and also to increase the chances of a successful and long-lasting implantation surgery.
A proper consultation with your dentist / periodontist is required to firstly determine what kind of implant suits your needs and requirements best.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
- Implants are more natural-looking as compared to bridges and dentures
- They are more secure and functional as compared to bridges and dentures
- They may last for a lifetime
- Implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, so they remain undamaged
- High success rate
- The high cost
- The surgery is time consuming
- Just like any procedure you might need to undergo, for this one too you need to find a properly trained, licensed and credited dentist to do the procedure. Compromising on this point could be a disastrous decision.
- There is a 5-10% complication rate for the surgery
- Some of the side effects, post-surgery include damage to other teeth, infection, excessive bleeding, delayed bone healing, nerve damage, jaw fracture, etc.
- Most dental insurance plans don’t cover this procedure fully
Dental implants have been received very well by those who have had the surgery done. Overall, on examination, the pros outweigh the cons, and the decision to go ahead with this procedure could prove to be a very good, life-long investm
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