Over time, teeth are lost for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to cavities, periodontal disease, and trauma. The loss of these valuable structures can contribute to significant esthetic and functional limitations. In addition to the apparent visual impact, the loss of one or more teeth may contribute to other issues, such as migration and super eruption of adjacent and opposing teeth as well as bone loss. This may affect adjacent natural teeth, facial contour, and esthetics. Dental implants function to replace one or many missing teeth and help to prevent the loss of valuable bone.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is intended to replace the root of a tooth that has been lost. The implant is surgically placed in the jaw where it undergoes a process called osseo-integration. The body grows bone directly up against the implant surface, fusing it into place. Once healed, the implant provides a strong and predictable foundation that will allow your dentist to create a new tooth that emerges from the gum. Your new implant will look and function just like a natural tooth, allowing you to smile and function with confidence.
Implants may be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. In addition to providing a fixed option, dental implants may also anchor and provide stability to a loose denture.
Dental implants offer many advantages over most conventional tooth replacement options. Aside from providing a highly esthetic and functionally predictable restoration, a dental implant will likely far outlast conventional tooth borne restorations. Because an implant is made of titanium, it will never get a cavity. It is also very strong and will resist fracture over time.
What Does Getting an Implant Involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months. X-rays and a physical examination are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal for several months.
After several months of healing your dentist will take an impression of the implant and surrounding teeth so as to fabricate a custom tooth. After a healing period, the artificial tooth is securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.