The truth about dental implants – 11 facts you need to know  

the truth about dental implants

Dental implants are by far the best replacement for missing teeth. They have an implant body that fuses with the bone and serves as the tooth’s root. A crown is eventually placed on the implant resembling the natural tooth. In this article, I will explain some facts and truth about the dental implants.

The truth about dental implants – 11 facts 

Here I’m going to reveal the truth about dental implants that you may not be aware of:

Implants take a long time to heal – they take 5-6 months to fuse to the bone to serve as the root of a tooth

On average, implants take 5–6 months to heal. Implant placement involves a two-phase surgery. 

During the first stage of surgery, a hole is drilled in the bone where the implant needs to be placed, and an implant body or fixture is placed at this site. The surgical site is stitched and closed, and the implant is left to fuse with the bone for 3-6 months. 

During the osteointegration phase, the new bone is laid down along and over the implant surface, which provides retention to the implant. 

After 3-6 months, the implant fixture heals, the soft tissue lying over the implant is opened, and a healing abutment is placed. The healing abutment allows the soft tissues to form a collar of healthy gums around it. The whole process takes 2–6 weeks for the gums to heal.

Finally, a crown or denture is prepared in the lab and screwed on the implant.

the truth about dental implants

Immediate-loading implants are also available, where the temporary prosthesis is placed on the implants within 48 hours of implant placement. However, it is made sure that the implant should not move greater than 100 micrometers.

Movement of the implant greater than 100 micrometers could jeopardize the fusion of the implant with the bone. Therefore, such cases require greater initial implant stability at the time of placement and good quality of the recipient’s bone. 

Krikor Derbabian, DDS.

Longer (10mm or more) and screw-type implants allow better mechanical locking of the implants and are used as immediate loading implants. 

Implants make your smile beautiful 

Implants crowns are made of ceramic, but they look like natural teeth and merge with the neighboring teeth. One can’t identify which tooth is natural and which one is fake. 

Dentists try to simulate the implant crown according to the shape and color of the same tooth on the opposite side to make the smile symmetrical and attractive. 

implants are stronger than natural teeth 

A dental implant is made up of titanium, the most biocompatible material with negligible chances of rejection by human cells. For the same reason, an implant body or fixture resembling the tooth’s root fuses well with the bone. However, natural teeth are more firmly adherent to the bone with the help of periodontal fibers. 

The teeth are three layers thick, with a decrease in the hardness of the layers as you go deep into the teeth. Enamel, the outer covering of the tooth, gives strength and hardness to the teeth. 

Dental implants may be stronger than natural teeth due to the material used for their fabrication. Still, the intervening periodontal fibers provide a more robust attachment of the tooth to the bone. 

Dental implants require similar care as your teeth. If plaque control is not taken care of, it can initiate inflammation around the implants, resulting in loosening and failure of implant. 

denal implants cause migraine headaches or neuropathic facial pain

Yes, implants can cause migrane headaches or neuropathic facial pain after the crown or denture placement. However, its incidence is very rare. It can occur as a result of nerve injury during implant placement.

You may experience moderate to severe pain, with pin and needles, burning and tingling, and electric shocks as the main symptoms.

Please ensure to get the implant from an experienced dentist, maxillofacial surgeon or implantologist.

dental implants are costly 

Yes, implants cost you more than a bridge, partial or complete denture due to the cost of material used for their fabrication, and a sterile two stage surgical procedure.

Dental implants can’t be made of any material but require a biocompatible material with minimum chances of tissue rejection. Titanium is an expensive material that is used to fabricate implants. Moreover, an implant is packaged in a sterile package to be immediately placed in the bone. 

A two-step implant surgery and a third step of crown, bridge or denture formation are also required for a fully functioning implant. 

According a study, the resources use to treat a patient with an implant supported denture is seven times than those required to make a new set of removable complete denture.

For a detailed article on implant supported dentures or hybrid dentures click here.

I hope the above information gives you an idea of why implants are expensive. However, implants are costly but are never out of reach. 

Dental implants apply to healthy mouths 

The presence of a systemic disease doesn’t contradict the placement of dental implants. However, patients with generalized osteoporosis (affecting all the bones), bleeding disorders, uncontrolled diabetes, or disorders that interrupt the fusion of the implants with the bone are not suitable for receiving implants. 

For proper evaluation, you need to see a dentist, a maxillofacial surgeon, or an implantologist. 

Can I get an implant? If i don’t have enough bone

If you don’t have enough bone for the implant, there is no need to worry; a bone graft can be placed to augment the bone.

dental implants are painful

Implant placement requires two-stage surgery. The surgical procedure is painless as the tissues are numb at the time of surgery, but you may experience some pain in the gums after the surgery until the soft tissues are healed. You will be given pain medication to ward off the pain. 

Once the gums are healed, you will not experience any pain or discomfort. However, you have to keep the implant clean as you clean your teeth. Plaque accumulation around the implant can cause infection leading to loosening and failure of a dental implant. 

dental implants are safe 

Yes, dental implants are safe. As mentioned earlier, they are made up of a biocompatible pure titanium that’s easily tolerated by the human body. Minor quantities of other metals may also be added to the implant. 

The implant surgery is carried out in a sterile environment with minimum to no chances of any harmful substance contaminating the bone and implant.

How do dental implants work 

Dental implants work in a similar way as your natural teeth. The implant fixture or body fuses with the bone and serves as the tooth’s root. The crown placed on the implant not only enhances your smile but also helps in breaking down the food.  

Dental implants become loose and fail over time  

Good quality and correctly placed implants can last up to 10-15 years if proper care is taken. However, certain factors can lead to implant failure over time: 

Factors controlled by patients

  • Plaque control – if dental plaque is not controlled, it can lead to inflammation around the implant, destroying the bone surrounding the implant leading to its failure.
  • Smoking habit – Nicotine attenuates red blood cell, white blood cell and fibroblast cell multiplication and enhances the blood cloting. Through these mechanisms, healing and blood perfusion in the bone is impeded, leading to a compromised osteointegration (fusion) of dental implant.
  • A habit of night grinding 

Miscellaneous factors 

  • Improper angulation of the implant: an implant should lie vertically in the bone to avoid any horizontal forces that could loosen the implant over the years. 
  • Radiation therapy
  • An inexperienced surgeon 
  • Use of cheap and low-quality implants

conclusion

In this article, I have revealed the truth about dental implants that will clear your misconceptions and confusions about them.

A dental implant is by far the best replacement for a missing tooth, but nothing beats a natural tooth.

A dental implant is made up of titanium, the most biocompatible material with negligible chances of rejection by human cells. 

During implant placement, the implant fixture is placed in the prepared socket, the soft tissues (gums) are closed, and the implant is left to fuse with the bone for three months.

When the implant fixture heals, the gums are opened, and a healing abutment is placed. The healing abutment allows gums to grow around it as you see gums encircling the tooth. 

Finally, a crown or bridge is prepared in the lab and screwed on the implant.

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1 thought on “The truth about dental implants – 11 facts you need to know  ”

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