Whether you are missing teeth due to decay, accident or old age, in the past it was always difficult to get a satisfactory replacement tooth. With fixed and removable bridges and dentures, you were always reminded of your false teeth. Fortunately, in the last 25 years, dentistry has taken huge strides with the development of dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Today implants have become the method of choice for replacing missing teeth, and for good reason. First, the main reason implants have become so successful is that a dental implant actually replaces the roots of the teeth by a process of bonding with the jaw. This is possible because of the metal that is used to make the artificial root. Titanium has the unique ability to fuse with the bone by a process called osseointegration.
Maintain the Jawbone
When teeth are lost the supporting bone is lost also but with dental implants, the bone is stabilized and further bone loss is prevented. Along with replacing teeth, implants help to maintain the jawbone’s density and shape. Dental implants will make it possible to eat and chew without difficulty and to talk and smile in a completely natural way.
How bone is lost when a tooth is lost is because just like any other bone, the jaw needs exercise to maintain its density and form and in the case of the jawbone the stimulation comes from chewing. When several teeth are lost, the jawbone may lose density and become porous and weak. This may make your cheeks look sunken and add years to your appearance.
Placing the implants is done by a surgical procedure in which precise channels are made in the jawbone. The implants are then fitted into these channels so that they will be touching the bone. It takes a few months for the bone to fuse with the titanium screw. Once it is firmly in the jaw, the crown or artificial tooth is attached.
Are You a Good Candidate?
If you are wondering if you are a candidate for implants, having lost any teeth may make you a good candidate. When you visit our specialist, your teeth and gums will be examined. If you don’t have serious gum disease and have enough healthy bone, you are most likely a good candidate for dental implants.
By using computer imaging the implants can be placed in exactly the right position in the bone. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth. You care for them in the same way and should have regular dental check-ups just as you normally do. With good oral hygiene, your dental implants may last for years, or even the rest of your life.