The closest a person can get to have his missing teeth back is getting dental implants inserted. The look and feel of dental implants with replacement prostheses is almost natural. They may not be as strong as actual teeth, but they are the best possible alternative. Dental implants consist of tiny metal (usually pure titanium) posts inserted surgically into the jaw. The process is both costly and time-consuming. It is a full-fledged surgical procedure requiring anesthesia. Healing may take time and involves multiple visits to your dentist. After the inserted metal posts are surgically placed in the jaw bone, the bone slowly fuses with the titanium post in a process known as osseointegration. The fused dental implants serve as a strong base to mount replacement teeth. The process of osseointegration may take up to 3-6 months.
Sometimes the body rejects the foreign dental implants. A condition known as peri-implantitis may cause the gum surrounding the post to get inflamed. This inflammatory condition occurs mostly in smokers. But patients with diabetes, bad oral hygiene or those whose mucosa lining at the site of the implants is very fine might also experience peri-implantitis. The rejection rate for titanium posts is negligible being only 2-5%, and in most cases, the surgery is successful.
Healing of the implant will take 3-6 months after which the dental implants are ready to be fitted with crown, bridges or dentures. In case the patient does not have sufficient bone to support an implant, bone grafting might be necessary. The bone taken from the mouth by suction process during the drilling for the implants is most suitable for grafting. Bone may also be grafted from the hip. When hip bone is required, the procedure would also need the services of an orthopedic surgeon.
The insertion of posts is an expensive and long drawn out procedure. Beside hisirng a surgical staff, the operation and posts themselves are expensive. Any bone grafts will further push up the cost for the procedure. The whole procedure might cost thousands of dollars. If you are considering the surgery you should go with an experienced surgeon who has all the technical know-how and equipment to do a professional job. On the plus side, posts are the best alternative to your own natural teeth. They look and feel like your own teeth, and they function almost as well as genuine teeth. If you are an older person missing a number of teeth, then instead of getting a set of dentures which you may not be comfortable with, a good alternative may be dental implants. Wilmington has a number of clinics offering the best in state-of-the-art techniques for cosmetic dentistry and smile restoration.