What are Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants

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Teeth are important. You need them to speak, eat, and to maintain your face shape. That’s why if you lose one—or more—teeth, you need to replace them. Dental implants are a long-term, robust form of tooth replacement.

A natural tooth consists of the visible area that you see, and the root, which travels around 16mm up into the jaw. This strong root is what makes our teeth so stable, able to withstand eating apples, steaks and the occasional chewy pineapple lump.

A dental implant is designed to replicate this tooth root. It is a surgically implanted titanium post that is inserted in the jawbone. A tooth, or teeth, can then be mounted on that post, flush with the gum. The end affect is a strong, permanent solution that looks natural.

What is a dental implant made from?

There are three main parts to the implant. There is the post, the tooth prothesis and the abutment that sits between them and attaches the two parts.

The post is usually made from titanium. This is because it’s strong and biocompatible- it’s non-toxic and not harmful to living tissue. It also helps with the process of osseointegration, which is when the bone integrates with the implant, making it strong and stable. The abutment will likely be made from titanium also.

The crown is usually ceramic, as it is non-reactive, strong, and closely mimics real teeth. They look very realistic and feel natural.

How do dental implants work?

The key to the strength of dental implants is fusion of the root with the bone.  This provides stable, robust support for the artificial teeth. This means the teeth prosthesis don’t move or slip in the mouth, making eating and talking easier and less prone to problems.

Due to the implant strength, a key to the success of the implant is the health of the mouth and particularly the jawbone. There must be healthy bone, no sign of infection in the gums, and the patient must be in good health otherwise.

What is the process for dental implants?

This process can differ, depending on the type of implant, the health of the patient, and any health constraints. But, this is the standard process.

The dentist or dental surgeon will carry out a number of imaging processes and tests. This may include 3D scans of the teeth, x-rays, or other imaging diagnostic tools including a thorough check-up. This is to assess the condition of the jaw, the existing/ surrounding teeth and to make a plan of the treatment. The dentist will also ask a number of questions to assess the patient’s general health. This includes conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, if the patient smokes, and a range of other issues.

The gums must be healthy, and there must be adequate bone to support the implant. If everything is acceptable, an appointment is scheduled for the implant surgery.

Either under general or local anaesthetic, the surgeon will make a slit in the gum where the implant is to be placed. A hole is drilled into the jaw, and the implant is screwed into the hole. The gum is stitched closed. If the missing tooth is somewhere noticeable or you are getting a substantial number of teeth replaced, a temporary tooth/ teeth can be installed at this point. If not, the abutment is placed. The patient then can continue with their day, depending on how they are feeling.

The gums must be healthy, and there must be adequate bone to support the implant. If everything is acceptable, an appointment is scheduled for the implant surgery.

After the surgical site has healed, the patient can return to the dentist. This procedure is quick, and the new permanent teeth are installed over the abutments.

The gums must be healthy, and there must be adequate bone to support the implant. If everything is acceptable, an appointment is scheduled for the implant surgery.

If tooth implants are looked after, they can possibly last a lifetime. They are low maintenance, with regular brushing and flossing required. Dentist visits will be regular, every six to twelve months, the same as for natural teeth. While the care for the teeth is not arduous, it must be strictly maintained to avoid infection.

A huge range of benefits of tooth implants

If you have a dental bridge or dentures, you’ll know that they can be less than ideal. They can move around in the mouth, causes sores and gagging. They limit what you can eat- steaks and apples are off the menu (and Perky Nanas). And for many people, speech is affected, with lisping or slurring of words common. Bridges place additional strain on the surrounding teeth, which may cause additional problems in the future.

Teeth implants solve all of these problems.

Tooth implants are the optimal solution for tooth loss

Around 300,000 people in the US alone receive dental implants each year. The success rate is around 95%, making it a highly reliable, permanent solution to missing teeth. It allows people to eat, talk and smile with confidence. It gives you your life back.