“The rapid progress in the field of science and technology has had its profound impact on every field of human involvement and healthcare is not aloof from it. Hence, dentistry that is a significant branch of health care has also witnessed radical developments that have re-defined it. For instance, we can now get a complete set of new teeth or can get our shabby teeth whitened or even redesign the shape of existing slender or broken teeth. Thus, at this time, let us discuss the most innovative aspect of dental technology, which is none other than Dental Implants.”

It is yet another innovative step taken in the field of dentistry. It has led the revolution in the field of dentistry.

What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth placed in your jawbone to hold a replacement tooth. Usually, there are three parts of a dental implant:

Implant — A small screw-like metal post placed/implanted into the jaw
Abutment— A small metal extension, which is placed on top of the implant
Crown — The replacement tooth that sits on top of the abutment.
Dental implants can be used as a replacement for a single missing tooth. They can also be used as anchors for fixed bridges, or as support for removable partial or complete dentures. In some patients one or more implants might be used. This depends on whether a single tooth is being replaced, multiple teeth are being replaced or full denture support is needed

What are the advantages of dental implants?
There are a number of advantages to dental implants. When compared to bridges or dentures, implants are more comfortable. The reason is that they look and feel like natural teeth. In addition, the lifespan of a dental implant is typically much longer than that of a bridge or denture. In some cases, dental implants may be the only treatment available for restoring missing teeth. This is also based upon the complexity of the clinical situation.

Improved appearance
Improved comfort
Improved speech
Eat better, enjoy more foods, better nutrition
Convenience
Improved self-esteem
Is getting a dental implant the right choice for me?
In general, implants may be considered if you are in good overall health. Those with good oral health, and practicing good oral hygiene can be considered for this procedure.

Dental implants are not recommended for people who smoke. Smoking negatively affects blood flow to the bone and tissues surrounding the gums and teeth. This in turn impairs the healing process. If the bone around the implant cannot heal effectively, the implant will fail.

If you are a smoker, ask your dentist what steps you can take to help increase your chances of becoming a candidate for dental implants.

Be sure to discuss your medications (prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal remedies) with your dentist.
Based on your health history, your dentist can help determine if dental implants are a potential treatment option for you.
What are the steps involved in getting a dental implant?
Once you and your dentist have decided on a dental implant, placing the implant typically takes more than one office visit. In general, there are three steps in placing a dental implant:

Integration — In this step, a dental surgeon places the implant into your jaw. Over the next few months, the bone in your jaw grows around the implant, which secures it in place.

Abutment — Once the implant is secure in your jaw, an abutment (a small extension) is placed on top of the implant.

Crown — At this phase, the replacement tooth is placed on top of the abutment, and secured in place. The crown will extend below your gum line to look like a natural tooth.
Follow-up care is important for the long-term success of your dental implant. Your dentist will discuss a plan for at-home care and follow-up dental visits to help keep your implant, and all your teeth, healthy.

What might be some of the factors that would prevent me from being an implant candidate?
Some medical factors might prevent a person from being a good candidate for dental implants. Some of these may be

Uncontrolled diabetes
Chemotherapy
Radiation therapy
Parathyroid disorders
Blood disorders
Rare bone disorders
Bone marrow cancer
Some physical factors may include:

Insufficient or poor quality bone
Weak sinuses or nerve bundles

Is dental implant surgery painful?
No. An effective local anesthetic is used during the surgery. This is done so that you do not have any discomfort during the placement of the implants. The mild discomfort you might experience after surgery can be controlled with medications.

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