We all have ’32 PROMISES TO KEEP’..which means that our permanent teeth are irreplaceable, once lost they won’t grow back and will need an artificial replacement. What happens if we do lose them?. We can choose to do nothing about it and face the consequences of the same, which is that the bone of that area will get resorbed at a faster rate, the teeth on the opposite arch will move towards that space, and if we lose too many teeth then even our jaw joint will start the pain. On the other hand, we have options available for replacing missing teeth such as a removable partial denture in which you can remove the denture at night or for cleaning, a fixed crown or bridge by suspending an artificial tooth taking support from adjacent teeth, and finally, we have the option of placing a dental implant. So what’s all the fuss about dental implants after-all?
A dental implant is like an artificial root drilled into the bone over which the artificial tooth is seated. The advantages of a dental implant are:
- Being anchored and integrated into the bone it is a more biologically and cosmetically natural replacement of the tooth
- It does not need sacrificing of any adjacent tooth structure
- It can bear more chewing and grinding forces compared to dentures and bridges
- Does not lose its ‘fit’
- Can last a lifetime if taken care off
However, a dental implant can only be inserted if the bony ridge of the patient is sufficient in height and width and if the oral hygiene of the patient is good. If the bone is not of good quality additional surgical procedures are needed to make it suitable for implant placement.
Here’s a case of a young 25yr old boy who lost his lower front tooth in an accident. We took an orthopantomogram of the patient and found a healthy ridge..a dental implant was placed for him and left for four weeks..after four weeks we placed the abutment which basically acts like the lock over which the artificial tooth would fit into. We took an impression after putting the abutment and his final prosthesis was delivered within a week. He can barely perceive that something artificial has been put into the mouth!