A damaged or decayed tooth that is impossible to treat can cause significant problems if left unattended. It could cause decay in the surrounding healthy teeth and may even be vulnerable to infection. A standard solution dental clinics suggest to combat this problem is tooth extraction, which entails removing the tooth. However, unlike bones and hair, when an adult tooth is extracted, it can’t regrow. Hence, you will have a visible gap after the procedure.
While you can opt to leave the space vacant, it is typically not recommended because it could lead to surrounding teeth becoming misaligned, and the exposed gum will also be at a higher risk of injury. Therefore, dentists will advise you to opt for a dental implant. We will look at this procedure and how you can choose the perfect one for your needs in this article.
What are dental implants?
They are replacements for extracted teeth that ensure the same functionality and appearance as a natural tooth. Unlike false teeth and dentures, dental implants can replace individual teeth and have a strong foundation; and do not cause any inconvenience in day-to-day life. Taking care of them is also easy as regular brushing and flossing are more than adequate to keep them long-lasting.
A regular dental implant consists of three components; a screw embedded into the upper or lower jaw bone, an abutment atop the screw, and a custom crown resembling a tooth placed over them. There are various kinds available; it is vital that you pick the best one for your needs. We will explore them below.
Choosing the right material for the implant
There are two main types of materials being used at present for dental implants: titanium and zirconia.
It is the most commonly used material and is considered safe by all regulatory authorities across the globe. Titanium is biocompatible; hence, it can integrate with tissue and bone without causing infection or additional complications. The metal is only used for the screw and abutment, with porcelain being favoured for the crown to give it a realistic tooth-like appearance. Titanium implants are more affordable than their counterparts. Hence, if you want a more cost-effective implant, it will be better suited for you.
Zirconia is a strong, fracture-resistant ceramic material with similar durability and resilience as titanium, although the latter is more long-lasting. When this is used for an implant, it typically is utilized for all three components, including the crown. It is considered healthier for the gum tissue and is hypoallergenic, making it incredibly safe. This material is more expensive than titanium due to its higher production cost; however, this could be a brilliant choice if you have a flexible budget.
Selecting the correct type of implant
There are three dental implant types you can select from. These are endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic.
They are the most common, with a screw that resembles a root. As these implants need to fuse into the jawbone, the latter needs to be healthy and robust. It also requires some time for the tissue and bone to latch onto the screw and heal correctly. If you have issues with your jaw, then this implant is not suited for you.
It is the primary alternative to endosteal implants and does not require penetrating bone, although they still will be under the jaw. Our dentist will place a metal frame under the gum to hold the implant in place as it heals. The rest of the implant will then be secured on top of the frame. We recommend this implant if you lack adequate jawbone or do not want intensive surgery.
These are the least common and involve a complex procedure. Dentists only use this method if you lack jawbone for both the implants mentioned above. In this, the implant is fused with the cheekbone.
Dental implants can provide the look and feel of natural teeth; therefore, you should opt for this procedure after an extraction. However, we recommend consulting our dentists at our dental clinic to ensure that the one you receive best suits your budget, comfort, and medical needs.