Implants are the product of new advancements in the field of dentistry. They are the perfect solution to achieve a healthy natural smile.
Unlike dentures, implants provide a permanent and fixed method of tooth replacement.
Although implants are placed surgically and require at least three months to heal, the result is worth the wait and always astonishing.
As the name suggests, Endosteal implants are implants that are directly placed in the alveolar bone. These are one among the most popular types of dental implants used these days.
Endosteal implants come in various forms and shapes; since they are placed directly into the bone, specific clinical requirements are crucial to place an implant.
For example, the height, width, and quality of the bone play a significant role to decide the viability of the implant.
Let’s directly dwell into the article to understand in detail what an endosteal implant comprises of and how it is placed. You will also come to know their benefits and tips to take care of the implant.
What is an endosteal implant?
Endosteal implants are the most popular and commonly used implants in the field of dentistry. These implants are made up of titanium and come in the shape of a screw which is placed directly inside the alveolar bone or jawbone. (1)
These implants are ideally used to restore the smile of patients who have one or more missing teeth.
After the placement of the implant, a post is attached to the screw over which a prosthetic (artificial) tooth crown is fabricated to restore the missing tooth.
What are the different parts of an endosteal implant?
Three essential parts make an implant; the base that attaches to the bone, an abutment that supports the prosthesis and a crown that resembles a natural tooth.
An endosteal implant typically comes in two forms, the most commonly used one is the cylindrical form which is also referred to as a screw type and the second is in the form of a blade.
Their usage depends on the number of abutments required to restore the smile.
The screw or the blade forms the backbone of the implant. It represents the root of a natural tooth. The material may vary depending on the case, but most of the endosteal implants are made up of titanium.
What are the clinical requirements?
Implant placement is a surgical procedure, and specific clinical requirements decide whether a patient is an ideal candidate for implant placement or not. These requirements are as follows:
- A good medical history – the patient, should have a negative history of any blood disorders and should have controlled diabetes or blood pressure.
- Sufficient amount of bone to accommodate the height and the width of the implant
- Quality of the bone – a dense, compact bone is an ideal requirement for an implant
- Patient’s expectations about the aesthetics and function
What is the clinical procedure to place an endosteal implant?
The first step of the procedure is to extract the decayed tooth or root stumps present in the place where the implant is to be placed.
A full mouth examination along with dental x-rays and CT scans will help to determine if the patient is an ideal case for implant placement.
At this time, the dentist will inform the patient about the number of appointments to be scheduled, the possible outcome of the treatment and the estimated cost of the procedure.
Remember it is a right of the patient to be informed about all the factors associated with this procedure. If the patient agrees to all the terms, a consent form is signed by the patient before starting the process.
An antibiotic is always prescribed by the dentist or the concerned oral surgeon preoperatively and continued after the treatment as well.
In the next appointment, the implant is drilled into the alveolar bone and fixed in place. Healing time of minimum one and a half month, i.e., four to six weeks is required to determine the growth of the bone around the implant.
This process is known as Osseointegration, where the implant gets embedded into the bone as the bone grows around it. (2)
The method of Osseointegration forms the foundation for the strength and longevity of the implant. During this time the patient can perform daily functional activities like chewing and speaking.
In the follow-up appointment, the dentist assesses the healing rate of the implant and places the abutment.
After the abutment is placed successfully, the space created by the missing tooth is replaced by fixing a tooth crown or a dental bridge or a denture depending on the number of teeth missing in the jaw.
The outcome of this entire procedure is a natural looking smile.
What are the benefits?
Although getting a tooth replaced by an implant is a work of patience. The result that a patient receives is worth the wait. And along with a healthy smile comes plenty of other benefits for using an implant:
- Relief from the pain and discomfort of using a removable prosthesis like dentures
- Prevention from bone loss with time
- Improved quality of life
- Restored functional abilities of the mouth
- Improved appearance
- One solution for a lifelong healthy smile
How much does an endosteal implant cost?
The total cost of placing an endosteal implant depends on various factors involved:
- The cost of labor that the dentist or the oral surgeon charges as part of the treatment
- The cost of the material that the implant is made of
- The location in the oral cavity where the implant is placed
- The number of implants placed
- The extra cost of additional procedures like tooth extraction and bone augmentation if required
On average, the price of a single endosteal implant starts from $1500 and can go up to $10,000 and above, depending on the quality of the implant and the material used.
The additional cost of the dental procedure in total may add another $4250.
What can you do to take care of your implant?
Practice good oral hygiene
Regular cleaning of the area around the implant especially the abutment will help you to maintain healthy gums and reduce any chances of inflammation and infection.
This will increase the success rate of the implant and add on to its durability.
A tobacco habit weakens the density of the bone and hampers the process of Osseointegration. Sometimes it also causes peri-implant tissue complications.
As a result, the rejection rate increases and the implant doesn’t stabilize leading to implant failure. (3)
Modify eating habits
Avoid eating any hard food substances like a candy bar from the crown placed on the implant as it will cause crown fracture and also affect the surrounding natural teeth.
Regular dental check-ups
Visit your dentist for all the follow-up appointments and also maintain the habit of getting a dental check-up done every six months.
Take away message
The success and durability of the implant only depend on the post-operative care and good oral hygiene of the patient.
Maintaining the health of the implant will help you restore your smile lifelong.
Although implants longer to heal, the natural smile that you receive at the end is priceless and worth the hard work and patience.
An endosteal implant can support a single crown, a dental bridge or even an implant supported denture. Ultimately it will provide the aesthetics, functionality, and feel of a natural tooth.
Now that you learned about the most popular dental trend, consult your dentist and talk about dental implants to know more.