It happens. Losing teeth and then enduring the gap between your smile, affecting your ability to chew properly and even modifying your enjoyment of food and nutrition. While these are serious problems, did you know that tooth loss also cause bone loss?
When a tooth is lost, the jaw beneath that tooth begins to shrink and becomes fragile (due to lack of exercise). The loss of a tooth affects your smile and also changes the shape of your face, which makes it look prematurely aged. Thankfully there’s a solution for this problem.
Dental Implants can help you get back to your natural smile. They are used to replace missing teeth, keep your original bone structure, and youthful appearance.
So, what exactly is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an element or attachment that is placed inside the bone, when one or more teeth have been lost, helping to replace the dental root, or the tooth, as if it were a natural one.
When a patient requires one or several dental implants, it is a procedure best performed by a specialized professional that has the experience and knowledge of diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of congenital and acquired diseases of the skull, face, head and neck, oral cavity and jaws.
And, what’s the process like?
There are several techniques for placing dental implants:
- Classic: This technique is a surgical one, and is done by cutting the gum, in cases in which the tooth was already extracted for a long time.
- Transmucosal implants, also called flapless: This technique is based on the placement of the dental implant without the need to cut the gums
- Immediate Dental Implant Post-extraction: In this procedure the technician places the implant in the same session when the tooth is removed.
However, whichever method you choose, dental implantation shouldn’t be painful -when is done by an experienced professional-, and it’s done under local anesthesia.
The job lasts a short time, but to have fixed teeth, the patient should wait from a few days to 6 months, depending on the type of dental implant.
Are dental implants safe?
They’ve been proven safe and effective at replacing missing teeth. Contemporary dental implants have been in use for more than 30 years.
Types of Dental Implants
In general, two types of dental implants are considered mainly: Subperiosteal and Endosteal implants.
Nowadays this is the type of dental implant most commonly used. These types of implants are placed surgically in the maxillary bones or in the jaw bone. When the implant is ready and the osseointegration is completed, the prosthesis or crown is placed to give it the appearance of a tooth.
There are several forms of the Endosteal implants: Cylindrical, Screw, Sheet, Titanium, Laminated, among others. This type of implants are generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or dentures that are removable.
Subperiosteal or Juxta-Osseous Implants:
These types of implants consist of a metal frame that is placed in the jaw bone just below the gum tissue. Therefore, these have the shape of the edge of the bone so that they can be properly fixed.
Mainly, these types of dental implants are used for patients who can not use conventional dentures and who have a minimum bone height so it is not possible to use an endosteal implant.
For how long will the Dental Implant work?
In most cases dental implants can last up to more than 20 years, depending on the hygiene and good care given to them. It is advisable to have periodically visits, to keep track of the state of the dental implant so that we can ensure that everything is going well.
You should always remember that a Dental Implant is just like any other tooth, with the slight difference that it is artificial, but it also requires that you take the necessary care in order to keep it clean and free of plaque, so that it will not be damaged with time.
If you take care of your teeth properly, then you will enjoy more of them and their benefits, reducing risks and complications.
So, how much will it cost you?
The price of a dental implant depends on several factors. The type of implants required, the Dental Implant brand used, and dental study, even the country where the dental implant is placed has an influence.
Dental implants are built to last; tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years. That makes them your best long-term, cost-effective solution.
To learn more about all of our dental implants options and prices, give Dr. Ignacio Vargas a call at our Escazú, San José, area practice, in Costa Rica!
You can write him an e-mail as well: email@example.com