How Dental Implant are placed?
Before a dental implant is placed, the dentist has to examine the patients teeth and gums for
any possible signs of disease or decay. This is done through a series of X-rays and if required, a
CT scan. These are carried out under local anesthesia; IV sedation is sometimes used if it is a
long procedure or the patient is very anxious.
After eliminating possible problem areas, drilling commences. The gum where the implant is to be
placed is cut and lifted, and a small hole is drilled in the jawbone at the precise location of the
intended implant. The implant is then slotted into this gap and the gum stitched over it. If the
bone material present is not sufficient to accommodate the implant, a bone graft may be required,
or the dentist may use smaller-sized mini implants if suitable .
The implant is then left to heal and integrate with the jawbone for between six weeks to six
months. Due to the phenomenon of osseointegration, the bone tissue will grow and anchor itself
into the microscopic rough surface of the titanium implant.
During this healing period , the patient is fitted with temporary teeth called bridges. The patient
should be careful that temporary teeth do not exert pressure on the healing implant. After the
healing period , the gum is again lifted and a post is attached to the implant with a temporary
crown. A month or six weeks after this operation, when the surrounding gum tissue has matured,
the final permanent restoration can be fitted to the implant.
Osseointegration is defined as "the direct structural and functional connection between living bone
and the surface of a load-bearing artificial implant". This property is unique to titanium and
hydroxylapatite, and has tremendously advanced the science of medical bone, and joint
replacement techniques. In other words, artificial titanium can bond with human bone to create a
Dental implants score over bridges and dentures because of the following reasons:
1. Aesthetics - Dental implants look and function just like natural teeth. Hence, the patient does
not realize the presence of an artificial construct in the mouth.
2. Functioning - Dental implants function just like regular teeth; hence, theres no restriction on
eating any kind of food, unlike dentures which loosen when eating hard items.
3. Tooth and bone integrity - Since dental implants integrate into the structure of the jawbone,
they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures.
Also, there is no need to remove healthy tooth structure to accommodate a crown or bridge
abutment. By using an implant, no support is required of the adjacent teeth, and the natural teeth
do not need to be modified in any way.
4. Easyness - There is no need to worry about misplaced or loosening dentures. Also no special
care is required for implants; they can be brushed and flossed like natural teeth.
5. Reliability - Dental implants have a high reliability rate, making them the ideal replacement
option for lost teeth.