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What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are titanium roots placed in the maxillary or mandibular bone that firmly hold the individual crown. Natural teeth consist of the crown and root. The crown is the visible section that is covered by white enamel. The crown is supported by the root of the tooth that extends to the maxillary bone.
There are usually three parts to what is described as an implant:
Current implants are mostly made of titanium, a biocompatible metal that offers strength and durability as well as a unique property of fusing directly to the bone (osseointegration). Other materials such as zirconium may be used in the future. However, for now these materials have not been perfected for general use.
What is osseointegration?
Dental implants work through a process known as osseointegration, which occurs when bone cells adhere directly to the surface of titanium, which essentially fixes the implant to the maxillary bone. The placement of dental implants in the jaws through controlled surgical procedures allows them to “osseointegrate.”
Osseointegrated implants can be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements with various designs and functionality, replacing from a single missing tooth to a complete arch (all teeth in the lower and / or upper jaw). These replacement teeth are usually made in such way that they match the natural enamel color of each patient, offering a totally new smile and a natural appearance.
Are dental implants for me?
It is very likely that if you are reading this, you or someone you know has lost teeth. Whether they have been lost due to an accident, illness or tooth decay, dental implants are an excellent replacement option for almost anyone.
Dental implants can be used when:
Dental implants will return your smile and you can eat most of the food you want since your new teeth are strong and stable. Dental implants will look and feel like their own natural teeth.
Am I a suitable candidate for dental implants?
A thorough examination of the entire mouth (including teeth and gums) and assessing its bite (occlusion) is necessary, which is important for the success of your implant restoration.
It is not acceptable to proceed with the treatment if there are areas of dental, parodontal or bone disease, since they can affect the success of your surgery for implant placement, as well as the integration and maintenance of the implant itself.
The most accurate form of x-ray images available now is computed tomography, also known as CT. Dentists often use medical tomographs to diagnose, analyze and devise treatment plans for implant surgery.
There are other types of tomographs known as conical beam volumetric computed tomographs or CBCT that can provide similar images and be converted to the most commonly used software programs available for analysis by dentists.
CBCT tomographs use a significantly smaller amount of radiation and may be available at an imaging center or at your surgeon’s office. Both types of tomograph provide very detailed, three-dimensional images that can accurately measure the height and width of the available bone, as well as locate nearby anatomical structures (such as the maxillary sinuses and mandibular nerves) that the surgeon must keep in mind during implantation. dental.
Because all radiation doses are cumulative and the potentially harmful effects of excess radiation are well documented, it is necessary to weigh the benefits of improved diagnostic images against the risks of radiation exposure, based on needs and circunstances particular of each patient.
Sometimes other diagnostic studies are required in order to proceed adequately with the treatment of dental implants. A full periodic parodontal examination is necessary to determine the presence of parodontal disease, and if so, devise an effective treatment plan. An examination of each individual tooth is also necessary to properly identify and treat any active caries or other dental pathology.
Dental impressions are required at various times of the treatment to assess the status of the bite and proceed with the proper restoration of the dental implant (s) in coordination with the rest of the dentition. To record your progress and help your treatment plan, photographs and / or video will be used.