Dental implant is a procedure in dentistry whereby an artificial tooth root is used in order to support reconstruction that resembles a group of teeth or a single tooth.
Today there are a number of implants available and each one is designed to perform a particular function. Titanium, an inactive metal or metal that is inert and which has been tested and recorded to be very effective in combining with the living bone, is used in most dental implants today. The process by which the living bone and the surface of the artificial titanium implant are structurally and functionally connected is called “Osseointegration”.
The jawbone plays a very important role in Dental implant. The size and shape of the jawbone has a very vital role to play in terms of deciding the type of implant required in an individual. Where the jawbone is deep and wide, a screw type cylindrical implant which is called “root-form” very similar to the actual tooth root is placed. Where the bone of the jaw is short and narrow and it is almost impossible to place a root form implant, the jawbone area is enhanced by bone grafting which helps easy and effective placement of the root form implant. For short and narrow jawbones, which cannot be enhanced by grafting of the bone, a special form of implant called the “plate form” implant is used. In cases where there has been a complex bone loss, another form of implant called the “subperiosteal” form of implant is prescribed.
Root Form Implants:
These are considered to be the closest in size and shape when compared with the root of the original tooth. They are mostly used in deep and wide jaw bones that provide a wide base for replacing one or more teeth. Once anesthetic is applied, the dentist exposes the jawbone area where the implant needs to be placed and makes the bone ready to receive the implant. The dentist carefully sets the implant in place and then closes the gums with stitches. It takes about three to six months to a year for it to heal. This is when Osseointegration occurs and the bone starts growing around the implant. This creates a bond that is strong which is usually stronger than the previous original tooth. Once it heals completely, the dentist uncovers the implant and a cap is attached which acts like a strong unit to support the new teeth.
Plate Form Implants:
In cases where the jaw bone is too short or narrow and unsuitable for bone grafting, another type of implants called the Plate form implants are used instead of root form implants. In this method a long and flat implant is fixed into the short or small jawbone. Once the dentist applies anesthetic, the dentist exposes the jawbone area that needs the implantation to be done and prepares the bone such that it adjusts to the new shape. There is generally a healing period in this form of implant similar to that of the root form of implant where the Osseointegration occurs; however some of these implants are designed to restore immediately.
In extreme conditions where there has been a huge damage and the jaw bone is not sufficiently wide or deep for the plate form or root form implant; an advanced subperiosteal form implant can also be suggested. This implant is tailored to rest on the top but is kept below the gums.