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If you have one or more missing teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are the teeth that can look and feel just like your own!

A Dental Implant is an artificial tooth that a dentist places into your jaw,if you have lost a tooth.

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What is the procedure before the Implants?

During the consultation and planning visit, the doctor examines the site in the mouth where a dental implant is being considered as well as see the dental x rays,orthopantogram(opg), and CT Scan.With these investigations, the quality and quantity of jawbone is assessed to determine if more bone is needed at the site.If the bone quality and quantity is fine,a dental implant can be placed in the desired location and the patient is called for the surgical procedures for the dental implant.

What is the procedure for the implants?

At the surgical procedure appointment, the patient is firstly given local anesthetic to numb the surgical area . Many times, the site of a dental implant still has an existing damaged tooth present. In order to prepare for placement of a dental implant, the damaged tooth already present needs to be extracted.

In some cases, the damaged tooth can be extracted followed by the implant placement procedure at the same appointment. This procedure is known as "immediate implant" placement.

In the situation where an implant is to be placed in the maxilla (upper jaw) in the posterior region, sometimes the available amount of bone may be limited by the presence of the maxillary sinus (air-filled space found in the upper jaw). "Sinus augmentation" or "sinus lift" may be performed to raise the sinus floor and graft more bone into the sinus. This makes more bone available to support a dental implant.Once sufficient, strong bone is present, the site is ready for the implant. At the implant placement appointment, the dental implant is placed into the bone with special drills and tools. A "healing cap" is placed over the implant, the gum is sutured, and the healing phase begins. During this healing phase, a temporary denture maybe made to replace missing teeth for aesthetic purposes.

Healing time depends mainly on the quality of the bone present. Healing time is usually from two to six months. During this time, the implant becomes integrated with the bone.This is called osteointegration. Follow-up appointments to check the surgical site are done to ensure that no infection exists and healing is taking place.

After the required healing period, a prosthetic component is connected to the dental implant via a screw. This part is called an "abutment." It will serve to hold the replacement tooth or "crown." An impression of this abutment is taken in the mouth and the implant crown is custom-made from the lab. The implant crown can be either cemented on or secured with a screw to the abutment.

How much does a dental implant cost?

A conservative cost estimate for a single dental implant is INR 20,000 to INR 35,000 . This cost includes the surgery for placement of an implant, its various components, and the implant crown. Dental insurance usually does not pay for dental implant. Dental implants have become a favoured option for tooth replacement because they provide predictable results with success rates close to 98%.

What are the potential risks, adverse events, and problems with a dental implant?

Careful planning is important to make sure that a patient is healthy enough to undergo implant surgery and should heal properly. Just like any oral surgery procedure, infections, allergies, existing medical conditions, blood disorders, and medications need to be reviewed prior to proceeding with implant placement. Fortunately, the success rate is quite high, but failure can sometimes occur in the event of infection, or any other systemic disorder.

Is dental implant surgery painful?

Dental implant surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia, and therefore, no pain is usually felt during the procedure. After the local anesthetic has worn off, the post-surgery discomfort varies with the patients threshold.

A cold ice pack is given to the patient immediately after the surgery to be placed on skin over the area of surgery to help reduce swelling.Some antibiotics and oral rinses may be needed to support healing of the area for the following few days after the surgery.

What follow-up care is necessary after getting a dental implant?

After getting a dental implant, routine maintenance care at home and follow-up at the dental office is essential in maintaining the implant in a good condition. Good oral hygiene for a dental implant at home requires routine brushing and using mouthwash to keep food debris and plaque away. In the dental office, the cleaning and scaling is done to remove harder calcified deposits around the dental implant. If needed, the bite is adjusted to ensure that the implant does not sustain heavy biting forces.

Advantages of Dental Implants over Dentures or a Bridge

  • Esthethic -Dental Implants look and feel like your own teeth
  • Tooth Saving-The adjacent present teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health.
  • Confidence-They allow you to say good bye to worries about misplaced dentures. They are secure. You can speak and eat with comfort and confidence.
  • Reliable-The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable.

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