In days gone by, dentures or removable bridges were the only way of replacing missing teeth. Today, there are other restorative dentistry options, including dental implants. It is still not possible, of course, to create another living tooth to take the place of a lost tooth, but dental implants are the next closest thing. So, what exactly are dental implants? How do they work? What are they made of? This brief overview should answer many of your questions.
Functional and Attractive
Dental implants are constructed from three components – a titanium post (this is the actual implant itself), a dental crown, and an abutment. The post is surgically placed in the jawbone, where it fuses with the jawbone. The crown is the prosthetic tooth that is installed atop the post. The abutment is what joins the post and crown together, and keeps it from moving or shifting. Altogether, the combination of post, abutment and crown adds up to a tooth that looks and feels completely natural.
Patients who have dental implants will find no difference between the implants and their natural teeth. With implants, you can eat whatever you like. Care is easy, too, since all you have to do is brush and floss as you typically would, and see your dentist to ensure that your gums and any remaining teeth stay healthy.
Dental implants, unlike dentures, will actually encourage healthy bone growth in your jaw. This is because of the post – it stimulates your jaw, and delivers nutrients to the area where the tooth was lost. Dentures and bridges rest on top of the jaw, therefore do not have the same effect as dental implants.
Dental implants restore full functionality to your mouth. They also give back your appearance. Today, you have many options available to you when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are a permanent solution. Properly cared for, your dental implants could last you the rest of your life. Of course the crown is still vulnerable to some things that would damage a natural tooth – a blow to the mouth, for instance. However, the crown portion and the abutment can be replaced if necessary. The only thing that can harm the implant itself is gum disease, which is why you do still have to look after your oral health.