Understanding Dental Implants

By: Lesley Lyon

A dental implant is the artificial tooth root replacement of a missing tooth and is made from surgical grade titanium alloy. In the beginning, implant is done into the jawbone immediately after the tooth loss or after an extended period of time if there is sufficient bone. Otherwise various bone enhancement procedures are performed prior to it.

Dental implants are long -term replacements in the jawbone. Fixed bridges and removable dentures bring with them a number of problems. Removable dentures may cause embarrassing sounds while eating or speaking or may even slip out of place. Fixed bridges often affect the adjacent healthy teeth and there may also be recurrent decay. Periodontal (gum) disease may lead to the failure of fixed bridges. Thus they need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years.

On the contrary, dental implants are composed of titanium metal that fuses with the jaw bone through the "Osseo integration" process and do not possess the drawbacks of the other methods. Since dental implants blend with the jawbone, bone loss is not problem .The recipients of dental implant are still satisfied even after 20 years of service and if properly cared for, they can last a lifetime.

A dental implant which replaces a single tooth is made up of three parts: the titanium implant which mingles with the jaw bone, the abutment which fits over the implant and the crown which is fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance and created by a prosthodontist. The presence of natural teeth preserves the jawbone. When a tooth is missing, the bone erodes and weakens so that a new bone has to be grafted to the area to strengthen for dental implant. Even if several teeth are missing, dental implant can be achieved successfully to allow excellent function and bone loss.

A successful dental implant is a team effort -the patient, the dentist who makes the crown for the implant and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon who surgically performs the implant. All these people stay close in contact and see to it that all the needs of the patient's expectations are met. The 5-year success rate of implants is between 90 to 95%and therefore dental implants are the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. When a missing tooth is replaced by a dental implant, the fusion of the implant and the bone provide stability just as the natural tooth. The replacement teeth will be attached to the implants to allow excellent function and prevent bone loss. These implants serve as a stable support, which tightly locks into the replacement teeth to prevent slipping and bone loss.

Often dentures make persons feel and look older than they are and may cause embarrassment in social situations and may restrict the pleasure of eating comfortably. But dental implants describe a life quality that is much more comfortable than fixed bridges. With a renewed self -confidence, people have an active lifestyle and can speak comfortably and clearly. Therefore people with dental implants say that they feel better, look better and live better.

Dental Surgery
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