Q: What is a Dental Implant?
A: A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support and are permanent and stable. Implants are an ideal solution to tooth loss; they look and feel like natural teeth.
Q: How do Dental Implant work?
A: Once the root part of the implant is “bonded” to the bone, it is ready to be used. An artificial tooth is placed directly on top of the implant. In some cases, several implants are placed. Here, the implants are connected to a bridge. A bridge is a number of teeth (usually 3-4) that are bonded together. The two ends connect to the implants. By doing this, many people avoid needing removable dentures at all.
Q: Can anyone receive Dental Implants?
A: However, there are some limitations. You must be in good health and have the proper bone structure and healthy gums for the implant to stay in place. People who are unable to wear dentures may also be suitable candidates. If you suffer from chronic problems, such as clenching or bruxism, or systemic diseases, such as diabetes -the success rate for implants decreases dramatically. Additionally, people who smoke or drink alcohol may not be good candidates.
Q: What can I expect during Dental Implant procedure?
A: The gum is secured over the implant, which will remain covered until it fuses with the bone. This usually takes about 3-6 months. The dentist then uncovers the implant and attaches an extension, or post, to the implant. With some implants, the implant and post are a single unit placed in the mouth during the initial surgery. Finally, the dentist makes an artificial tooth, or crown, that is attached to the implant post. It will be as if you never lost your tooth.
Q: How long does the process take?
The process can take up to nine months to complete. Each patient heals differently, so times will vary. After the implant and posts are placed surgically, the healing process can take up to six months, and the fitting of replacement teeth no more than two months. Sometimes, if a patient has good bone quality, posts can be placed and replacement teeth fitted in one appointment.
Q: What is a Root Canal?
Underneath your tooth’s outer enamel and within the dentin is an area of soft tissue called the pulp, which carries the tooth’s nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. Root canals are very small, thin divisions that branch off from the top pulp chamber down to the tip of the root. A tooth has at least one but no more than four root canals.
Q: Why do I feel pain?
When the pulp becomes infected due to a deep cavity or fracture that allows bacteria to seep in, or gets injured due to trauma, it can die. Damaged or dead pulp causes increased blood flow and cellular activity, and pressure cannot be relieved from inside the tooth. Pain in the tooth is commonly felt when biting down, chewing on it and applying hot or cold foods and drinks.
Q: Why do I need root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy is necessary because the tooth will not heal by itself. Without treatment, the infection will spread,the bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate, and the tooth may fall out. Pain usually worsens until one is forced to seek emergency dental attention. The only alternative is usually extraction of the tooth, which can cause surrounding teeth to shift crookedly, resulting in a bad bite. Though an extraction is cheaper, the space left behind will require an implant or a bridge, which can be more expensive than root canal therapy. If you have the choice, it`s always best to keep your original teeth.
Q: What is a root canal procedure?
A root canal is a procedure done to save the damaged or dead pulp in the root canal of the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping the canal. The canal is filled with a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha or another material to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth is then permanently sealed, with possibly a post and/or a crown made of porcelain or metal alloy. This enables patients to keep the original tooth.
Q: What are Crowns?
A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps,” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the tooth’s appearance. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down, and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to restore a tooth when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
Q: How is a crown placed?
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it. An impression, or “mold,” is taken of the teeth and gums and sent to the lab for the crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the tooth.