Dental Implants and Preventing Bone Loss
The very first implant was done in 1937 and it was put in place with a screw. Over the years, technology, techniques, and materials have all improved on how implants are placed. In today’s time, there are many different considerations taken on who will benefit from implants and how implants are done.
What are Dental Implants
Inside the patient’s mouth, a titanium screw is anchored to the jawbone and then a new tooth is placed on top. The screw acts as the root of the tooth and the bone will adhere to the screw in time. Implants can be for one tooth, for dentures or for a crown. Implants are great for patients who need a single tooth replaced or a bridge. Sometimes when only a single tooth is involved the implant can be put in immediately and other times the patient may have to wait for the socket to heal.
The healing takes about 4 to 6 weeks. The bridge will help to stabilize the area of the mouth where the teeth are missing. Usually, when a bridge is done, the teeth on either side will need to be ground down so the bridge will fit perfectly.
Why are Implants Important
Implants are the best solution for missing teeth, other than the patient’s natural teeth. A patient’s mouth sometimes has missing teeth due to trauma, undersized teeth, vacant spots or disease. Implants will give the patient a healthier mouth by giving the patient a full set of teeth. Patients do not feel that the implant is a foreign matter in their mouth. They can not tell the difference between their real roots and the titanium one of the implants. They will be able to enjoy all the foods they want and it will help improve their appearance. When the implants are properly done, the patient may even have improvement with any of their speaking issues.
When individuals do not have the root structure of natural teeth or implants the lower and upper jaw bone will shrink. It will make the person appear to look older than they really are. When the patient undergoes implant surgery it will help the individual from losing their natural bone. When a person feels and looks good, they have better confidence in themselves. Sometimes an implant will need a minor adjustment, but they are constructed to last a lifetime.
What Age is Best for Dental Implants
Implants are a permanent solution for patients who have missing or damaged teeth. Once the jaw bone growth is completed, usually around the age of the late teens or early twenties, patients have the best results with implants. Candidates with poor or insufficient bone are not usually good candidates for implants. There needs to be a good supply of gum tissue for implants. The implants need quality bone structure for the implants to adhere.
Patients who are not good candidates for implants can have such procedures like bone grafting or sinus lifts to generate more bone in order to support the implants. Patients also need enough natural space between the teeth in order to have a successful implant placed.
Chronic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis and sinus issues can affect the outcome of implants in patients. Inferior results may also occur for those patients who smoke. Dr. Lazare takes special care with each patient to learn their history, takes X-rays and digital impressions of the patient’s mouth. To find the bone quality and learn the exact implant placement, a CAT scan is usually performed on each patient.
The bone quality of each patient will vary throughout the mouth. The thickest section is the front lower jaw and the back area of the upper jaw tends to be softer and more porous. Each patient has a different situation and is in different stages of health. With the right bone graft, a patient can gain bone where it was once deficient.
Patient’s will only need local anesthesia for the placement of implants. It is the same anesthesia used when having a tooth pulled, fillings or a crown placed. The surgeon will make a small incision in the gum in the location where the implant is to be placed. A small hole is then drilled in the bone and the implant will then be placed in the hole. A few stitches will close up the incision. Once that is healed the final placement of the new tooth can be placed.
What are the Benefits of Implants?
There are many different benefits to having implants. The patient will gain a better appearance and the implants will feel like their own teeth. They may even improve their speech and will certainly improve the comfort in their mouth. Implants will make it easier to eat and will improve their oral health. Implants are extremely durable and will last a lifetime.
President and Founder of the Lazare Institute for Biomimetics and Smile Design, Dr. Lazare hosts other lecturers from all over the world. Dr. Lazare’s professional experience is in General and Cosmetic Dentistry. He takes pride in giving individuals back their great smiles with dental implants, teeth whitening, veneers, Biomimetic Dentistry and other procedures that are performed in his office. Visit his site if you’re in need of dental implants in the NYC area.