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A dental implant (also known as an endosseous implant or fixture) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor. Dental Implants are being used extensively in this day and age for tooth replacement.
In simple terms, a dental implant is actually a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. They are used to secure crowns (the parts of teeth seen in the mouth), bridgework or dentures by a variety of means. They are made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body. Titanium and titanium alloys are the most widely used metals in both dental and other bone implants, such as orthopedic joint replacements. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device.
Dental Implants for Severely Damaged Teeth
Dental implants are typically used to replace severely damaged teeth. For instance, one patient had a crown for over 50 years (typically crowns should be replaced much sooner than that). The root canal the crown was placed in (a peg on the crown was inserted into a canal to hold it in place) fractured and collapsed, and the only way to replace this tooth was with a bridge or a dental implant. Due to the tooth that was effected (#7, front tooth) it was decided that an implant would provide the best solution, both from an appearance and a functional standpoint. Do you have severely damaged teeth? Explore the possibilities with Dental Implants Kennewick WA.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Some patients will also choose dental implants over dentures, as they provide a much more stable environment for eating, chewing, etc. Dental implants basically are the same thing as a natural tooth, with a titanium root structure embedded into your underlying bone (just like a natural tooth) and a crown to imitate your natural teeth. Additionally, in severe accidents, where people have multiple teeth damaged, implants can be utilized very effectively.
But let’s get down to it. How is an implant accomplished and what are some of the things you should be aware of?
Bone Loss & Dental Implants
Bone needs stimulation to retain its form and its density. In the case of the bone that surrounds your teeth, the necessary stimulation comes from the teeth themselves. Your normal everyday activity of eating and chewing food provides all the stimulation needed to preserve healthy bone. However, when you lose teeth, the bone no longer is being stimulated, and this leads to “bone loss”. Depending on how severe your bone loss is, you may require a bone graft before the implant can actually be placed into your jawbone.
Grafting bone into the extraction sockets at the time of tooth loss or removal can help preserve bone volume needed for implant placement. Surgical techniques are also available to regenerate (regrow) bone that has been lost, to provide the necessary bone substance for anchoring implants. In fact, a primary reason to consider dental implants to replace missing teeth is the maintenance of jawbone.
Bone needs stimulation to stay healthy. Because dental implants fuse to the bone, they stabilize it and prevent further bone loss. Resorption is a normal and inevitable process in which bone is lost when it is no longer supporting or connected to teeth. Only dental implants can stop this process and preserve the bone.
Installing Dental Implants & Crowns
Once the titanium implant is surgically implanted into your jawbone, we provide the next stages of the procedure, including the design and fabrication of the crowns, bridgework or dentures that attach atop the implants and are visible in your mouth. This typically occurs 2-6 months after the titanium implant is placed into your jawbone. The implant needs time to heal and attach itself to the bone, becoming an integral part of your mouth. During this time, you will probably receive some type of “temporary” tooth, to cover the work until it’s fully healed.
After your crown is installed, you have what basically amounts to a tooth as strong and healthy as a natural tooth.
7 Real Benefits of Dental Implants
Losing a tooth is something that leads to a loss of self-confidence and stress as it makes one lose the natural smile. However, all hope isn’t lost due to the availability of dental implants that can serve to replace lost teeth. These implants seem just like natural teeth enabling you to bring back your natural looks. Moreover, many other benefits arise with dental implants making them something worth to consider with a need to fill a toothless gap.
1. Provide a Natural Look
Dental implants are devised to resemble your natural teeth regarding their size and shape thereby matching with your looks. This makes it difficult for anyone to tell the difference between your natural teeth and these implants. You can also smile without having the feeling of the fear of producing an unnatural smile.
2. Provide Convenience
Unlike dentures that are designed for removal when cleaning, dental implants do not need this. You can easily brush and floss them intact without the risk of them getting displaced.
3. Doesn't Affect Speech
Dental implants act the same way as natural teeth. These implants are fixed on the jawbone lessening the risks of them moving when unexpected. So, they do not pose the challenge of slipping as you speak changing your pronunciation.
4. No Risk or Slip-Ups
Unlike dentures where you are afraid to talk in public due to the fear of them shifting, dental implants do not pose such a risk. With these implants, you feel more confident to meet friends and speak in public with no fear that an accident may happen and cause you an embarrassment.
5. Do Not Interfere with Natural Teeth
Contrary to dentures that place added pressure on existing teeth as they seek support, dentures do not need any support from adjacent teeth. These implants do not put healthy teeth at a risk of too much pressure or grinding. Therefore this leaves your natural teeth intact with no risk of loosening.
6. Not Prone to Cavities
Dental implants do not get decays as natural teeth do. As a matter of fact, these teeth look more like natural teeth but do not place you at the risk of having to visit your dentist as a result of them suffering from cavities. Therefore, the extreme pain that results from holes in gums becomes a past tense with implants.
7. Provide a Reliable Long-Term Option
Unlike dental bridges, dental implants can last up to a lifetime. They do not need any replacement and can last for long-acting as your natural teeth. Besides, they allow you to enjoy all types of food without the fear of them becoming loose.