Dental implants are artificial tooth roots similar to screws in shape. They bond with your natural bone tissue when surgically placed in the jawbone. An abutment - a type of connector - is placed on top of the screw to provide a sturdy supporting base to connect one or more artificial teeth known as crowns.
Implants are a viable alternative to removable dentures because they have many advantages compared to other types of tooth replacement methods. This article provides information on why you should opt for dental implants when you need replacement teeth.
Modern implant dentistry has been successfully used for the past three decades. But the history of implants dates back to the 1950s. In 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named P.I. Branemark found that titanium naturally fuses with the jawbone. Today, over 3-million people in the United States alone have implants and the number is growing by 500,000 each year.
There are several options for replacing damaged or missing teeth. Implants stand out from the rest because of the many advantages of the procedure. Removable dentures, permanent dentures or dental bridges just cannot match the benefits offered by implants. Implants look and feel like your natural teeth. That's why most patients opt for the treatment plan compared to other tooth replacements on the market.
When you lose teeth, you also tend to lose bone mass in the jaw. The jawbone requires the stimulation of the teeth connected to it. This stimulation helps maintain the bone mass over time. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that can stimulate the jawbone and help prevent bone loss.
Your teeth help maintain the facial structure. Missing teeth can affect the shape of your face over time. Implant dentistry offers similar support to the facial structure just like your natural teeth. Dentures can affect the way you pronounce certain words. Implants function like your natural teeth and prevent awkward pronunciations.
Titanium doesn't easily decay. That's why you never have to worry about getting cavities, periodontal disease, and other oral conditions when you opt for implants. It will prevent bone loss and guarantee healthy gums and good oral hygiene in the long run.
The process is ideal for adults of all ages. Whether you have lost your teeth due to decay, injury or any other reason, implants can help restore your missing teeth. It can also be an option for adolescents whose facial growth and development have already been completed. Your dentist is the best person to decide on whether you are a candidate for implants or not.
The first step is to consult a qualified and experienced implant dentist in your area. He or she will thoroughly examine your mouth with the help of dental x-rays and 3D images. He or she will discuss various implant options and the appropriate package for you. At the next appointment, the dentist will place the titanium screw in the jawbone where the tooth is missing.
Most patients experience minimal pain and discomfort during the process. You can return to work the next day. Local anesthesia will keep you comfortable during the entire implant procedure. Post-surgery discomfort is similar to any other dental surgery. Bruising, swelling, minor bleeding, and pain are the minor side effects of the procedure.
As your jawbone heals, it will fuse with the implant in a process called osseointegration. This forms a strong and long-lasting foundation for artificial teeth. The healing process may take a few months. You can get on with your normal life during this period. Make sure you stick to a soft food diet for the first couple of weeks for the implant to heal properly. You may choose to get a temporary tooth placed on the titanium screw during this period.
Once the implant fuses with the jawbone, a small connector known as an abutment will be placed on the screw. After the gum tissues are completely healed, your cosmetic dentist will make impressions of your mouth and teeth to custom-make the artificial teeth. The artificial teeth look similar to your natural teeth. They are placed on the abutment by your cosmetic dentist.
Implants come in different types, sizes, and heights. Your implant dentist is the best person to decide on the best type of implants for your condition and budget. There are two main types of dental implants such as -
Dental implants have a better success rate more than any other tooth-replacement technique out there. It's a long-term treatment plan to replace a missing tooth or teeth in your mouth. The procedure doesn't have any serious side effects. Mild pain and swelling are the most common symptoms which can be resolved with OTC pain medications. The aforementioned article provides information on why you should opt for dental implants when you need replacement teeth.