Losing one or more teeth can be a traumatic experience, affecting your physical appearance, self-confidence, and overall health. Fortunately, with advancements in dental technology, several options are now available to fill the gap left by missing teeth. One such option is dental implants.
What are dental implants?
The dental implant replaces the root of a missing tooth by surgically implanting an artificial root into the jaw bone. The materials used to make them are biocompatible, for example, titanium, which fuses with bone over time, creating a strong foundation for replacement teeth.
How do they work?
The implant procedure typically involves three stages:
- Placement of the implant: In this step, the implant is surgically placed in the jaw. Local anesthesia is applied to the area, and a gum incision is made to expose the bone. The implant is then screwed or tapped into place, and the gum tissue is stitched closed.
- Osseointegration: The implant fuses with the bone over several weeks or months, a process known as osseointegration. This creates a stable and secure base for the replacement teeth.
- Placement of the crown: Once the implant is fully integrated, a custom-made crown (the visible part of the tooth) is attached to the implant using an abutment. The crown is designed to match the color and shape of your natural teeth for a seamless and natural-looking smile.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
The following are some of the benefits of dental implants over alternative tooth replacement options:
- Permanent solution: Implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
- Natural look and feel: Because they are anchored into the jawbone, they look and feel like natural teeth.
- Improved functionality: Unlike dentures, dental implants do not slip or shift, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
- Protects jawbone: When you lose a tooth, the bone in the jaw begins to deteriorate over time. Dental implants prevent this process, protecting the integrity of the jawbone.
Can anyone get dental implants?
In most cases, people who are missing one or more teeth are good candidates as long as they have healthy gums and enough bone density to support the implant. After evaluating your oral health, your dentist will recommend the best course of action.
In summary, dental implants are a permanent and effective solution for missing teeth. They offer numerous benefits over other options and can improve your overall oral health and quality of life. Speak to your dentist today to learn more about how they can restore your smile.