People who look in the mirror and are tired of seeing teeth that are cracked, crooked, decayed or discolored should consider dental implants. Dental implants not only improve the look of the teeth by replacing them with bright, beautifully aligned crowns, but can even improve the way a person eats and speaks. If you visit the Dental Implants Toronto Info website, they may be able to provide you with more information.
1. What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial crown, or the top part of the tooth that is fixed to anchors and posts that the dentist implants in the patient’s jaw. Over time, the post fuses with the bone, which is called osseointegration. This usually takes some months and the patient needs to take special care of their teeth and visit their dentist regularly to make sure the post and the bone are fusing.
The problem is that some people do not want to wait that long for their permanent implants, especially if they are replacing their front teeth. Advances in dental implant technology now allow posts to be manufactured that fit so tightly in the jaw that the crown can be placed on them immediately. This is called immediate loading.
2. Who Can Have Dental Implants?
Dental implants work for people who are in good health and who have enough bone in their jaw to support their implant. If there’s not enough bone to support the implant, bone can be donated from the patient’s hip bone.
3. The Procedure
When the patient comes in for the operation, they are given anesthesia. The dentist removes the old tooth and drills a hole in the bone. The post is inserted and covered with a cap to protect it. Then, the gum tissue is sewn shut over it. There’s some tenderness and swelling for a few days after the surgery, and the patient will need to eat soft foods for about two weeks. The dentist has probably given the patient antibiotics prophylactically before the surgery, and they will need to keep taking antibiotics to ward off infection. The dentist takes out the sutures about 10 days after the operation.
When the bone and the post are fused, the dentist opens the gum again, takes the cap from the post and puts in abutment cylinders. The dentist orders another X-ray of the patient’s jaw and the crown is made in a lab with computer technology. The crown should be ready in about two weeks.
4. More Advances in Dental Implants
Titanium has been the material of choice for dental implant posts and abutments since the 1950s. This is because titanium is a biocompatible metal and bone fuses to it completely. However, zirconia is becoming popular with some dentists. Zirconia is a metal like titanium, but since its structure is crystalline it doesn’t behave like a metal. It doesn’t corrode, for example. Zirconia also doesn’t leave the taste of metal in the patient’s mouth and supports the health of the gums.