What you should know about dental implants
Most people know dental implants are tiny prosthetics that are used to create a new fake tooth. Few people, outside of patients who have received one, are aware of just how great a dental implant can be. For starters, dental implants are based on a simple grounding philosophy. Since the root of the tooth is the grounding for the tooth, the dental implants we use provide the same level of strength and security to the new dental crown that we place over them. Additionally, the root has a very important and symbiotic relationship with your jawbone, which works to help in stabilizing the tooth itself. Our tiny titanium implants mimic this relationship perfectly. What this does for you is it creates a circumstance where your new fake tooth is strongly grounded in an implant that is literally a perfect non-biological imitation of your root. As such you can eat anything that you would normally eat, without fear of causing unnecessary damage to your new implant or crown. This also means that you do not have to engage in special cleaning activities. Simply brush your teeth, and floss, like you would normally do and the new tooth will also get clean.
Sufficient jawbone is needed for dental implant
The jawbone and the dental implant have a symbiotic relationship, which means the jawbone has to have sufficient density, or bone mass, to sustain and support the implant. We will typically find this out during our initial consultations and examinations, where we will take x-rays. If your jawbone can sustain an implant, we will use the traditional implant. Also known as an Endosteal implant, this implant is a cylindrical shaped device, often a screw, made of titanium. It is inserted directly into the jawbone for maximum stability and to ensure the relationship between the two.
For other patients, however, they may not have the jaw bone density that is required to place an Endosteal implant. In cases like this the patient, you, have one of the two choices. You can have reconstructive surgery on the jaw to make it stronger and able to withstand and support the implant. The other option, for those that do not want to or cannot undergo reconstructive surgery, is to use an implant known as a Subperiosteal implant. A Subperiosteal implant functions much the same way as an Endosteal implant, with one notable exception. A Subperiosteal implant is placed into the gum but not into the jawbone. It is placed on top of, or slightly above the jawbone itself. This provides the security and stability that the dental crown needs, without putting added pressure on the already weakened jawbone. The initial examination will tell us what kind of implant you need, and we can make sure you have all the information you need to make a decision.
We provide dental implant as a way to replace missing teeth. This is an excellent solution if you are looking for a dental restoration that is natural-looking and also functions like a natural tooth. If you are considering getting dentures or a dental bridge, these solutions are also effective, though nothing can compare with the strength and durability of an implant. Here is why:
Osseointegration is what makes dental implants so durable. Implants consist of titanium, a metal that the body perceives as natural matter. Thus, when we insert titanium posts into the jawbone, the bone and metal will fuse together. This means the implant will receive the same level of support from the jawbone as your old root system did. As a result, an implant and the attached crown will have the same strength and functionality as a naturally occurring tooth.
How this impacts your jaw
When one loses a tooth, there is more at stake than one’s appearance. Losing teeth can make it difficult to eat, speak clearly, and to smile with confidence. Tooth loss can also hurt one’s appearance because of the impact it has on the jawbone. The bone requires stimulation in order to signify to the rest of the body it is being used for its intended purpose. The teeth provide that stimulation to the jawbone. When they fall out, the stimulation is gone, and the body responds by leaching calcium out of the bone to be used in other areas of the body.
As a result, the jaw can begin to shrink in certain areas. This can pose a risk to the remaining teeth and also gives one a sunken appearance. A good portion of the resorption happens the first year after one loses a tooth. This makes it important to replace the teeth as soon as possible and to do so using dental implants when possible.
Since we secure the dental implant to the jawbone, every time one eats, it stimulates the bone. The dental implant provides the same type of stimulation the jawbone receives from a natural tooth. As a result, the dental implant stops the resorption process to preserve both the jaw and appearance. Dental implants are a significant step in preserving one’s youthful countenance.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants or find out if they are right for you, we encourage you to call and schedule an appointment with our dental office. We will examine you and take X-rays to determine the density of your jawbone and to find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure. If so, we will schedule you for the procedure so the implant(s) can be surgically placed under your gums and secured to your jawbone.
It takes a couple of months for osseointegration to take place, so during this time, you may want to wear a temporary denture. Afterward, we will attach the tooth portion of the implant for a restored and beautiful smile.