Ever wondered how good it would be if a tooth lost can be placed back in place? That is just what the dental implant does. Unlike the dentures, which replace only the crown portion of the tooth, the implant replaces the crown and the root portion of the tooth.
What’s more, the chances of decay are less and there is no fear of mobility. The dental implant replaces the natural tooth to the maximum extent possible, both in terms of chewing efficiency and stability of the tooth. It can take almost as much pressure as the natural tooth, with hardly any restrictions on diet.
When properly fabricated, the dental implant can last a lifetime. However, this longevity depends on two sets of factors. The first is the overall oral health of the patient and the second is the post-implant care.
Oral health: Before deciding that a person is to go for an implant, the following are considered:
The person should have very good jaw bone support: The titanium post that will be used as the root portion is placed into the gum ridge and unless the jaw bone is extremely healthy, it will not be able to support this. Also, the post will be in left in place to get integrated into the bone for about 4 to 6 months. During this phase, oral health should be maintained extremely well.
Placement: The implant should be done by someone qualified to do an implant, not just by any dentist. Good fabrication of the implant is very essential for its longevity.
Good oral hygiene measures: This is a prerequisite for choosing if a person is a candidate for a dental implant. If oral hygiene habits are doubtful, then it would not be worth investing the time, effort, and money on an implant.
Post-implant insertion care: Once the post is absorbed into the bone and the crown has been placed, meticulous care should be taken to ensure there is no plaque formation in and around the implant. The gums have to be maintained healthy through regular brushing, flossing, interdental brushing and frequent mouth rinses. This will ensure the gums are healthy and can support the implant for years to come. Regular visits to the dentist every 6 months and scaling in the dental office are also mandatory when you have an implant.
The overall health of the person also ensures the success of implants. Chronic uncontrolled conditions like heart disease, stress, diabetes, and smoking adversely affect the oral health and therefore the success of an implant. These are also associated with a greater risk of gum and periodontal disease. Managing these optimally also adds to the longevity of dental implants.