Millions of Americans struggle with tooth loss. If you are part of this demographic and experience one or more missing teeth, then you understand these challenges only too well. Increased difficulty while eating and speaking, reduced confidence, and simply not liking what you see in the mirror can get pretty depressing.
Dentists offer several tooth replacement options: from crowns and bridges to various types of dentures and, most recently, dental implants. Dental implants have become particularly popular in recent years and for good reason – they are the gold standard of tooth replacement.
Understanding Dental Implants
Dental implants are designed to assume the position and function of your missing tooth or teeth. Compared to crowns, bridges, and dentures, dental implants are known to provide an effective, long-term remedy for those who suffer from chronic dental problems, failing teeth, and missing teeth.
Dental implants are becoming popular as a standard technique in tooth replacement because they are more or less like natural teeth in their function, feel, and fit.
Dental implants tend to feel secure and comfortable since the implant fixture of medical-grade titanium utilized by dentists bonds to the living cells of the jawbone over time. The union creates durable, strong support for the surrounding teeth, hence no slippage or any other movements — which is, sometimes, the case with dentures.
Dental implants do not pose problems while eating, and they do not need regular repairs. Maintenance is as easy as regular brushing and flossing. Plus, you can smile openly and freely without any worries.
Dental implants consist of three parts:
- Base: This is the titanium screw that bonds with natural bone to offer a robust, safe base.
- Connector: Also known as an abutment, the connector helps to attach the crown to the base firmly. It is usually octagonal or hexagonal in shape.
- Crown: This is the section of the implant that resembles a natural tooth. It is typically made of ceramic material.
The Dental Implant Process
Dental implant placement calls for dental surgery. The dentist often sedates the patient before performing the procedure.
The dentist starts by making a small incision in the gums, then drills the jawbone and screws the implant’s base into the resulting small hole. He then re-places the gum over the dental implant to promote healing.
Once the implant’s base has undergone sufficient healing, the dentist performs a second procedure to attach the connector to the implant. The final step is attaching the custom-made crown above the connector.
What to look out for…
The quality of the dental implant materials used by the prosthodontist can vary widely, so patients should always ask about the durability and appearance of any material choices they may be offered.
If you are considering getting dental implants, make sure your dental implant dentist only collaborates with manufacturers who have a proven track record. The right manufacturer is one who has invested tons of research and time into their products to promote topnotch quality materials
Seek out a trusted prosthodontist with proven experience and a great reputation and, with proper care, your new dental implant(s) can last a lifetime.