Dental Implants in Kenya

Do you have a missing tooth? Do you want to replace it? Have you been wondering about dental implants in Kenya? Then you are reading the right article. Dental implants are fairly new in Kenya, with studies and inquiries showing that over 80% of those with missing teeth stay without them for the rest of their lives. That means not many seek teeth replacement services, with a majority sighting the costs involved as the main hindrance. At the same time, some lack the right information about this important dental procedure.

This article aims to demystify tooth implants by providing you with full and accurate information about the procedure. Here you will learn about the reasons for tooth replacement, the types of tooth replacement, the procedure of tooth replacement, the benefits of tooth replacement, the risks associated with the procedure, and much more. Join us in the article and gain the best information about tooth implants.

As explained by the US Food & Drug Administration, dental implants are surgically placed medical devices that help restore the normal functions of the teeth and mouth, like chewing, biting, talking, and laughing. They do that by supporting artificial such as dentures, crowns, and bridges. Honestly, gaps and spaces in your jaw are not pleasing; therefore, you should try as much as possible to replace lost teeth, restoring the natural look of your mouth.

Reasons Why You Need Dental Implants

There are several reasons why you may need tooth implants, which are stated below:

  • Missing teeth. It is the most common reason for teeth replacement. Teeth may fall off for different reasons, some of which may be behind your control. When that happens, unlike in the past, you can now replace your teeth and have natural-looking replacements that cannot be differentiated from the original.
  • Loose full or partial dentures. Dentures have the tendency to fall off during awkward times. For example, when you are laughing or eating. To avoid the embarrassment of dentures falling off, especially in public, you should get tooth implants since they offer more permanent solutions to your missing teeth or tooth.
  • An infected tooth that needs extraction. One or many of your teeth may be so severely damaged that the only solution is extraction. At that time, only dental implants could serve as your new tooth. The implant will be as strong and durable as the extracted tooth.
  • Loose bridge. Like a partial or full denture, a bridge may loosen and fall off anytime, much to your embarrassment. It is advisable to consider more permanent dental implants to avoid such occurrences.
  • Sunken-in facial features. Dentures and bridges do not stimulate the growth and development of the jawbone. That means that your jaw will continue to regress just as it would do without any teeth. To avoid that, you should go for implants that feel and act like normal teeth and will firmly hold your jawbone together.
  • Tired of dealing with denture care and adhesives. It can really be tiring to deal with and care for dentures. You must remove them for cleaning; remember to wear adhesives to help hold them to the jaw and remove them while sleeping. To avoid all that, you should go for tooth implants that only need the normal brushing and flossing of teeth.
  • Broken or severely cracked tooth. When faced with a cracked or broken tooth, you only have two options: wear a crown or a complete implant. Although dentists should try to save the tooth as much as possible, the damage may be too severe to warrant an extraction and an implant.
  • Insecure about your smile due to dentures and bridges. Although it may not seem important, there are those who are very sensitive about their appearances, especially younger people. Dentures and bridges may not offer a satisfactory appearance to your teeth; hence, you may consider implants that can be tailor-made to suit your preferences.

Types of Dental Implants in Kenya

The following are the types of dental implants in Kenya:

1. Endosteal (in the bone) implants

Endosteal tooth implants are surgically placed into the jawbone to take the place of the tooth root. They usually look like screws; each implant can hold one or several artificial teeth. These implants are for those with normal healthy jawbones and are the most common. They are permanent replacements for those currently wearing dentures and bridges.

2. Subperiosteal (on the bone) implants

Subperiosteal tooth implants are placed on the jaw rather than in it. They have metal frames that protrude above the jaw to hold the implant in place. These implants are for those who cannot wear conventional dentures due to unhealthy jawbones. They are common in older people who have regressed jaws due to age.

Dental Implant Procedures

After thoroughly investigating your jawbone, the doctor will decide which type of implant suits you and tailor a procedure that suits you. The following are some of the processes that may be carried out depending on your needs:

  • Single tooth implants. These are carried out if you are missing a single tooth. They are the easiest for doctors and also the cheapest for the patient.
  • Multiple tooth implants. They are for those with many missing teeth. They can support partial or full dentures or when you need a bridge for several teeth.
  • Full mouth tooth implants. They are for those missing all their teeth. The dentist will strategically place several implants in both jaws to support full dentures or bridges. For a mouth to have these implants, any remaining tooth will be extracted first.
  • Sinus and bone augmentation. The quality and quantity of the jawbone determine the success of the implant. A sinus augmentation is done in the back upper jaw close to the sinus when the bone has deteriorated to the missing teeth. Over 90% of all back upper teeth replacements need sinus augmentation. Bone augmentation is the restoration and rejuvenation of the jawbone in order to facilitate a dental implant procedure. Dentists use bone additives and other growth factors to achieve the desired results.
  • Ridge modification. It is necessary in case of deformities to the jaw, which leaves you with inadequate or limited bone for placing implants. The doctor will lift the gum from the ridge to expose the missing bone space. The space is then filled with bone or bone substitutes. Ridge modification improves the appearance of the jawbone and increases the chances of a successful dental implant.

Tooth Implant Procedure

A tooth implant procedure is a process the dentist will use to replace teeth. The dentist must follow the following steps in order to ensure a successful dental implant:

Step 1: Evaluation

Your dentist first carries out a thorough evaluation of your condition and what you need. The dentist will run tests, including x-rays, 3D imaging, and even the complete impression of your teeth. All these are done to increase the chances of a successful implant. During this stage, the dentist will also check the following:

Your age in order to determine if you are best suited for an implant. Replacing teeth is a process that needs a fully developed jawbone; therefore, those under the age of 16 for girls and 18 for boys are not suitable candidates for an implant since their jawbones are still developing. Also, those above the age of 60 may not be good implant candidates since their bodies may not be well suited for the rigours associated with the procedure, and they are mostly advised to go for normal dentures or bridges.

Your health status to know of any pre-existing conditions or medications that should disqualify you from a dental implant procedure. Tooth implants are surgical procedures, and like all surgeries, there is an element of risk involved. Diabetics, heavy smokers, and those with gum diseases may not be allowed to have dental implants. Your dentist works closely with your physician at this stage to properly determine your surgical worthiness.

Your jawbone strength determines whether it is strong enough for an implant. Those who wait for too after losing their teeth before having an implant risk their jawbone deteriorating. Before a tooth implant procedure, the quality and quantity of your jawbone must be determined first, as those with insufficient bone will need a bone grafting procedure before the implant.

Using the above examinations, the dentist can develop a treatment plan specific to you. The plan will consider the number of teeth to be replaced, the status of your jawbone, and the condition of the remaining teeth if any.

Step 2. Jaw preparation

The next step in dental implants is properly preparing the jaw for the procedure. The dentist will first extract the tooth to be replaced if it is still there or its remaining parts. The dentist will also perform the bone augmentation at this stage if needed. That is done through a natural bone graft or a synthetic bone graft.

A natural bone graft involves taking a bone from another part of your body, while a synthetic bone graft uses substitute-bone material for the procedure. You will discuss with your dentist the best course of action that is suitable for you.

If you need a bone grafting procedure before tooth implants, then you will have to wait for the bone to grow and heal before the placement. During the healing period, you may be required to visit the doctor so that the augmentation and bone growth procedure can be monitored and the progress evaluated.

Step 3. Inserting the dental implants

The next step in the process of replacing teeth is the actual placement of the implants. If you start with a bone grafting procedure, it comes after your jaw has completely healed. The dentist will cut open the gums in order to expose the jawbone. After that, holes will be drilled into the bone, and the metal body of the tooth implants will be inserted. You will then be required until the jawbone completely grows around and integrates with the implant body.

Remember that you still have an empty space in your mouth at this stage. Since the bone growth and integration process cannot be rushed, you may need to have a temporary denture placed to fill the empty space. Also, during the healing stage, you may be required to regularly visit your dentist so that the process can be closely monitored. Remember that this is the most crucial stage of tooth implants, and therefore its success ensures the success of the whole procedure.

Step 4. Placing the abutment

Placement of the abutment is the next step involved in tooth implants. The abutment is metallic and will link your implant (tooth root) and the crown (artificial tooth). It is placed after the bone integration with the implant is successful. Placing the abutment is a minor surgical procedure that will involve reopening the gum to expose the implant, placing the abutment on the implant, and closing the gum tissue around the abutment without completely concealing it.

Note that an abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant, but it will remain exposed until the implant heals since the artificial tooth cannot be placed before the implant completely heals. Some people don’t like the abutment staying exposed for the long implant healing time and therefore prefer it done in a separate mini-procedure, especially when it involves the front teeth.

After the abutment has been placed, your gum will be allowed some time to heal before the tooth prosthesis is placed. The healing time will depend on how your gum has healed, but it usually does not exceed two weeks.

Step 5. Placing the tooth prosthesis

Placing your new artificial tooth (prosthesis) is the final stage of the tooth implant process. The dentist will make dental impressions of your mouth and the remaining teeth in order to come up with perfectly matching crowns. Remember that the crown will not be placed unless the implant and the jawbone are strong enough to support using th new teeth.

There are two types of artificial teeth you can choose, fixed and removable. Fixed crowns will be permanently attached to the abutment using a screw or cementing. You will not be able to remove the crowns. Permanent attachment is usually done when every implant supports a single crown. Removable crowns work like normal dentures in that they can be removed and reattached back to the abutment. Removable crowns are the most preferred, especially when a single implant supports many crowns since they can easily be removed for repair and cleaning.

Risks and Complications Involved in Tooth Implants

Just like any surgical procedure, replacing teeth has its own dangers that you should be aware of. These are:

Integration failure. The dental implant body is supposed to integrate with your jawbone in successful implants. When the implant fails to integrate with your jawbone, that means the process has failed, and the implant can not support the crown. In such a case, the implant may fall off by itself or need to be removed.

Poor implant placement. Your dentist may incorrectly place your implant either at the wrong angle or too close to other teeth, which may lead to pain and discomfort. If that is the case, you will need to have the implant removed and placed again correctly. This is where the expertise of the dentist and your choice of dental clinic matters the most. Royal Smiles Dental Clinic is highly rated in Kenya for all dental implant inquiries and procedures.

Sinus damage. The risk of sinus damage is very real when it comes to the upper jaw back teeth replacement. The top jaw is directly under your nasal sinuses, which means replacing teeth in the upper jaw can lead to damage or infection of the sinus. Your dentist’s expertise will also come into play here, as they are supposed to know how far they should place the implant without penetrating the sinus.

Risk of infection. All oral surgical procedures carry the risk of infection. Your dentist should give instructions on keeping your implants clean, especially during the long healing and integration process. Should you notice anything wrong like swelling, fluid draining from the implant, or suffering a lot of pain, you should consult the doctor immediately.

Risk of nerve damage. Tooth implants can sometimes result in damage to the nerves. The dentist should properly scout the position of the nerves using x-rays before a dental implant procedure. Remember that nerve damage is mostly irreparable; therefore, it means living with the damage if it happens.

Before deciding to have tooth implants, all the risks and complications that can arise due to the procedure should be properly discussed with your dentist. That is why the doctor needs to have your complete medical record and perform an extensive evaluation before deciding whether you are fit for an implant or not.

Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

You have learned about the reasons for implants, the types of implants available, how implants are placed, and the risks involved in the procedure. Now you should learn about the advantages and disadvantages associated with the procedure:

Advantages

  • It’s a life-lasting solution to missing teeth. Although they may temporally solve your problem of missing teeth, normal dentures and bridges are not last long.
  • It’s the most durable way of replacing teeth. Most tooth implants will last for a long time, so you will not visit the dentist every now and then.
  • No problems when talking, eating, or smiling. Dentures and bridges have the tendency to fall off at the most inopportune times.
  • Tooth implants stimulate the growth and regeneration of the jawbone. Unlike normal dentures and bridges, it does not allow regression of the bone, which means your jaw will look natural and healthy.
  • Tooth implants have a high chance of success.
  • Look and feel like normal teeth. Tooth implants, unlike dentures and bridges, cannot be differentiated from normal teeth.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive. Although willing to have tooth implants instead of dentures and bridges, many people cannot afford the services.
  • It may take a long time for the process to complete. The process of successfully placing dentures is long; for some, it may even take years.
  • Some people are allergic to titanium. Although highly unlikely, some people react negatively to titanium, which is the material that
  • makes the implant body.

FAQs About Dental Implants in Kenya

Are dental implants safe?

How safe dental implants are among the first questions that come to the minds of many people thinking and contemplating having the procedure. Experts agree that as long as experienced doctors do the procedure, the risks involved are minimal. With a thorough evaluation of your suitability to have the procedure, which is informed after carefully looking at your medical records, you can be sure that the procedure is over 93% safe, a relatively high margin of safety compared to other surgical procedures.

How successful are dental implants?

There are also those asking about the success rate of dental implants. According to Authority Dental, a reputable dental publication, dental implants have a 98% chance of success. Dental implants are meant to last a lifetime with the proper care and maintenance. Any failure of tooth implants is largely attributed to the patient’s negligence.

How do I care for dental implants?

How to properly maintain and take good care of dental implants is another point of concern for many people. Following inquiries made to the doctors at Royal Smiles Dental Clinic, the following are the main ways to ensure that your tooth implants and the rest of the remaining teeth remain healthy:
Maintaining oral hygiene. Many dental implant procedures are necessitated by poor oral hygiene. After a successful implant procedure, you should increase your oral hygiene levels by adhering to all the recommendations from the dentist. Make sure your teeth are cleaned immediately after every meal.
Keep off damaging habits. Some habits like chewing hard things that can easily damage your implants and natural teeth should be avoided. Other items like tobacco and caffeine are also known to have an adverse effect on implants.
Visit your dentist regularly. Visiting the dentist regularly will make monitoring how your implants are performing easier. The dentist can also properly advise on how to clean the implants.

After how long can I get an implant after losing a tooth?

There are those asking how it would take for them to be able to have an implant after they have lost a tooth. It will depend on your jawbone and whether it is strong and wide enough to have an implant. An implant can be placed the same day the teeth have been extracted or lost; however, dentists usually recommend a 3-6 month healing period.

Can anyone have a dental implant?

Another common question among those considering this procedure is whether anyone can have it. Generally, anyone strong enough for oral surgery or tooth extraction can have tooth implants. However, some groups of people need further evaluation for them to be eligible for the procedure. These are heavy smokers, people with chronic disorders like heart disease or diabetes, and those who have had radiation therapy to the head or neck. Always discuss with your dentist to know whether you can have the procedure or not.

Are dental implants painful?

There are those who ask whether tooth implants are painful. Implants are placed under anaesthesia, and those who have had the procedure say that someone hardly feels a thing. In fact, people say that tooth extractions are more painful than implant procedures. Only a little soreness will be felt after a dental implant which painkillers can easily cure.

Does insurance pay for dental implants?

Some want to know whether insurance pays for dental implants. Generally, dental implants are considered aesthetics by many insurance providers and, therefore, are not covered. However, the individual cover will depend on how deep your cover is, with some individuals with thorough dental insurance able to claim dental implant costs. It is always advised to discuss your insurance with the dentist and the insurance provider before the procedure is performed so that you can be better prepared.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be seen that dental implants are better than normal dentures and bridges. Anyone can have a dental implant if their dentist deems them eligible for the procedure. Proper medical evaluation is necessary to ensure that the procedure is successful. Your choice of dental care provider, plus the expertise and professionalism of your dentist, can very well determine the success or failure of the entire process.

Here in Kenya, Royal Smiles Dental Clinic has continually proven itself as an expert on all dental matters. You can book an appointment here or visit any of the following branches for consultations regarding dental implants.

Greenspan Branch Greenspan Area (Donholm Phase 8 ) Opposite Greenspan Mall Gate A.

Embakasi Branch Somo Plaza, Embakasi.

Garden City Branch Garden City Business Park, 1st Floor, Block A, Suite A-103 Thika Road.

Ruaka Branch Ruaka Square Mall 4th Floor, Suite 409, Kiambu County.

Dandora Branch Dandora.

Kitengela Branch Wandu House Second Floor.

Machakos Branch Machakos Doctors Plaza, Ground Floor, Machakos Town.

Nakuru Branch CK Patel Building 5th Floor, Suite 5A, Nakuru Town.

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