Dental Implants: Are They Safe?

 

Dental implants were first introduced by Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon. Nowadays, dental implants are considered the standard of care when it comes to replacement of missing teeth.

Are dental implants safe?

Performed for many decades now, dental implants are considered a safe tooth replacement procedure. Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots and shaped similar to screws. When placed in the jawbone, a dental implant bonds with the natural bone. From there, it becomes a sturdy base that can support one (or more) artificial teeth. The artificial teeth are called crowns.

A connector also known as an abutment is placed on the top of the dental implant to help hold and support the crowns. The crowns are tailored to fit in the mouth and match the natural teeth. Modern dental implants have been used for many decades now. They are also considered one of the strongest devices available that can support replacement teeth. What’s even better is they help new teeth to look, feel, and function naturally.

Given that it’s performed by an experienced and competent dental professional, dental implant surgery is one of the most predictable and safest dental procedures there is.

Who are ideal candidates for dental implants?

Dental implants can be used to replace one, several, or all of the teeth. To help gauge if a patient is a good candidate for dental implants, certain factors are taken into account. Some of the key factors that are looked into include:

  • Location of the missing tooth (or teeth)
  • Quality and quantity of the jawbone (where the dental implant will be placed)
  • The patient’s health
  • Cost of the procedure
  • Preference of the patient

What are the potential complications and risks of the procedure?

Just like any surgery, there are potential complications and risks involved. Careful planning is required to help warrant the patient is healthy enough to undergo the procedure and can heal properly. Akin to most oral surgery procedures, some of the potential complications include allergies, infections, bleeding etc. Fortunately, success rate is quite high as far as dental implants go.

Is the procedure painful?

The procedure is generally performed under local anesthesia. That being said, no pain is felt by the patient during the procedure. Once the local anesthesia has worn off, post-surgery discomfort experienced can vary from one patient to another.

The good thing is that most pain and discomfort is easily managed using over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Apart from pain medications, antibiotics and oral rinses may be prescribed to help support the healing of the affected area.

What’s the routine maintenance after a dental implant procedure?

After the procedure, observing good oral hygiene is essential. Superb oral hygiene involves proper and routine brushing and flossing to keep food debris and plaque away from the teeth. Routine dental visits might also be required (at least the first few weeks) to check the soft and hard tissues. When needed, adjusting the bite will also be done. This is to ensure the implant will not sustain heavy biting forces.

Dr. Gerald Tan
drgeraldtan@gmail.com


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