Ramesh Siva

2013-01-19 15:22:30

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The Toothy Subject of Dental Implants

Whether due to illness or injury, at some point in your life, your dental health practitioner may recommend you undergo a surgical procedure to have dental implants installed. The concept of dental implants is nothing new; studies have found that the Mayans practiced this dental surgical technique over 1300 years ago. During the time of the Mayans, they had to rely on the materials on hand, which were bone, stone, and shell fragments. In today's world, implants are composed of titanium for the infrastructure and ceramic or porcelain for the crown.

 

 

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are permanent artificial root structures that replace missing teeth. The typical implant consists of a titanium screw, which is torqued into the jawbone, and porcelain, ceramic or even metal crown that fits over the top of the screw. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the type of work done. If the jawbone requires work involving a type of graft, the procedure may need to be drawn out over a longer time period as each stage of the installation requires time for healing and acceptance by the body.

 

How is the Procedure Performed?

A hole that is a few millimetres in depth is drilled into the jawbone, at the location of the missing tooth socket. The titanium post is installed and a cover or temporary crown is set into place. Once the implant has fused with the jaw, and the area has healed sufficiently, a permanent crown will be affixed.

 

Dental Implants Versus Dentures

The benefit of dental implants over dentures is the fact that dentures have a tendency to slip, wiggle or even fall out. This isn't even taking into account the times a seed or grain gets caught between a patient's denture plate and his or her gum. Dental implants can be permanent and as solid as the real teeth they are meant to replace. They can be and should be looked after as if the implants were real teeth; having implants, even a full set, does not preclude proper oral hygiene care. Having implants frees a patient from soaking dentures, or removing the prosthetic at bedtime.

 

What's the Cost?

The cost can vary based on the materials used, the number of teeth being replaced, the state of the patient's mouth and jaw structure. Implants can range anywhere from £1600 to £4000 depending on the amount of work required. The good news being that, implants generally last longer than any alternative.

 

Post-Surgery

Patients may have some minor swelling and minimal, if any, bleeding to attend to and monitor post-surgery. There will most likely be some mild pain as the site heals, which can be treated with an over the counter pain reliever. Your surgeon is the best source of information regarding aftercare. For need or even cosmetic reasons, dental implants can improve the lives of patients exponentially compared to the amount of time it requires to have the work done. A set of healthy, functional teeth is definitely something worth smiling about!

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