A dental implant offers the most complete restoration of a missing tooth. Most restorative applications only replace the crown of a tooth. However, a dental implant replaces the dental crown and the root.
Each dental implant includes a titanium screw that is surgically implanted into the jawbone where it fuses over time through process called osseointegration. In addition, an abutment or connector is affixed to the implant screw to connect a dental crowns.
Here are a few questions and answers about dental implants:
How long does a dental implant take to heal?
Since the implant is actually installed into the jawbone, the bone and gums are wounded at the installation site. Thus, the affected area must heal before the dental implant can be properly stabilized.
Generally, it takes about two to four months for osseointegration to occur. However, the healing period can be prolonged if complications, such as infection occur. Still, the abutment and crown cannot be placed until the implant screw becomes stabilized in the bone.
What can prevent the success of a dental implant?
A dental implant is generally successful if it heals properly and remains secure within the bone. However, here a few issues that can prevent implant success:
- Smoking- People who smoke can experience problems with the wound healing properly, and circulation at the implantation site may be less than optimal. In addition, due to the inflammation caused by tobacco smoke, the risk of infection may increase with tobacco usage.
- Diabetes- For diabetics with controlled blood sugar, the risk of implant failure is virtually the same as it is for people without diabetes. However, uncontrolled blood sugar can increase the likelihood of implant failure.
- Bruxism- Grinding your teeth at night can cause the implant to shift out of position and become unstable.
What can cause a patient to be an unsuitable candidate for an implant?
Your dentist will review your jawbone density before implant placement to ensure there is enough bone tissue to support the installation. However, if there is too little bone and the bone density cannot be improved, you may not be a suitable candidate for a dental implant.
What are some of the reasons a dental implant is used?
A dental implant may be used for a single tooth restoration. However, it can also be used to help stabilize a dental bridge or an overdenture.
Your dentist may prescribe a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. However, he or she will have to assess the state of your oral health to determine whether or not a dental implant is right for you. If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area for an assessment.
You can go to websites of dentists near you to learn more.