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Dental Implants: aka Dental Implant Surgery, Full Mouth Restoration, Teeth Restoration, Dental Restoration


What is it?


Dental implants or dental implant surgery is a good alternative for someone that is missing a tooth or several teeth. If you want a natural looking and relatively permanent dental replacement for broken, missing or injured teeth then dental implants may be just what you need.


Dental implants are created of titanium. They are small dental fixtures that a dentist or dental surgeon screws directly into the jawbone. This serves as an anchor allowing the dentist to place a natural-looking “false” or manufactured tooth into the jaw. This will replace any missing tooth semi-permanently or at least for around 10 years or more. Typically how well and how long the dental implant lasts depends on the overall health of the person and how much bone they have to secure the missing teeth the dentist is attempting to replace.


It is also important the patient cares for the replacement teeth in much the same way they would their ordinary teeth. For many dental implants are a reasonable alternative to a fixed bridge which is something that is also a permanent or semi-permanent but less attractive replacement for missing teeth. The implant itself will remain in the jawbone forever, it is the dental crown or dental cap on top of the implant fastened into the jawbone that has to be replaced routinely every five or ten years depending on the quality.


The Operation


Implants typically require dental surgery. First, the dental surgeon will place you under anesthesia. You will be under for some time if you have to have several dental implants placed in the jawbone. It is important you work with a qualified doctor as this is a consuming and very important surgery. You will experience many side effects of surgery that may include swelling and bruising.


Next, your jaw bone will heal. This typically requires several weeks, up to six months. When the jawbone heals around the implants, you wear dentures. There are cases where implant surgery does not work because the body rejects the implants. This happens rarely, in approximately 1% of cases. Once your implant has healed if all goes well your dentist will see you again to fit a dental crown on top of the implant.


All that is important for dental implant surgery to work is enough bone in the areas where you are missing teeth for the surgeon to place the dental implants. If you do not have enough bone then it is impossible for the dentist to place the implants.


Alternatives to Surgery


Some patients would rather not undergo surgery to have their teeth replaced. In cases like this it is possible to restore the look and feel of a beautiful smile without have the implants fixed into the jawbone. For example, you can have your teeth extracted and then have dentures fitted. Or, you can have crowns placed on top of pre-existing teeth that have varying degrees of tooth decay. The dentist will just remove the decay first.


Still others prefer a partial bridge or other suitable replacement that will remain fixed but not in the same way an implant would. The choice is yours, just remember to talk with your dentist first about your options.


Before the Operation


Before the operation your doctor will review your medical history and talk with you about the different types of implants to see which will best suit your needs.


  • Root form implant - this type of implant looks like a tooth. Many times a bone graft is necessary to expand the jaw bone to make room for this type of implant.
  • Plate form implant - this implant is slightly less large than the root form implant; it has a flat and long shape and is ideally suited for individuals with a more narrow jawbone. Your dentist will consider this when evaluating you for dental implants.
  • Subperiosteal implants - these implants is custom-made for individuals with a small and very tight jaw line. This custom implant will rest on top of the jawbone.


Often the dentist will want to make an impression of the jaw so the implant can be fit properly. A CAT scan or radiographic image of the jaw provided by computed tomography is also provided to allow the dentist to get closer images of your jaw and teeth so that a “Subperiosteal implant” can be fashioned.


After the Operation- At Home


Once you are home from surgery it is critical that you rest to restore your energy, hydrate well and eat healthy foods. You may not feel like eating right away but it is important you build your strength.


Possible Complications


There are many possible complications with all surgeries. You could have a reaction from the anesthesia. You could go into surgery only to discover later that the implant does not work right with your jaw. Your dentist may decide you are not the best candidate for surgery. It is far better to discover these things before you go to surgery than when you are in the middle of surgery. Fortunately most complications including bacterial infections can be cleared easily with an antibiotic, some talk therapy and a little TLC.



Estimated Costs for Dental Implants



Country Cost
USA $3000-$15000
Brazil $900-$1500
Costa Rica $810-$1500
South Africa $1500-$8000
Thailand $800-$1500

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