We have made great strides in dental technologies yet patients still have to endure painful and expensive treatments for things like gum disease, tooth decay and of course injuries. Up until now the solution to these problems were to extract teeth and then replace them with either dentures or bridges. Dentures and bridges weren’t always effective and needed replacing more often than most patients could afford. Today there is a better solution and that is a dental implant.
What exactly are implants?
Implants are artificial teeth that are implanted with a titanium post that is implanted into the jawbone and under the gum to act as the “root” of the tooth. A false tooth is connected to the root that mimics a natural tooth far better than a denture. Since the implant is directly connected to the jawbone it remains stable and it is meant to last a lifetime, as long as you practice good oral hygiene.
Different types of implants
There are two different types of implants that are recommended by the American Dental Association and they are the Endosteal and Subperiosteal. Both are surgically attached to the jaw bone and once the healing process is complete the dentist will follow up and attach a false tooth or teeth to the implant. The implant can consist of one tooth or a group. The subperiosteal procedure will have a post that that protrudes through the gums to attach false teeth to. Here is what they look like.
Why get implants?
The traditional method for replacing missing teeth has been bridges or dentures, both of which are uncomfortable and can make chewing uncomfortable. Bone loss can also happen when you have dentures. With implants you can eat stress free and the crowns (the top portion of the implant) look and feel more like your natural teeth. They have been secured into your jaw, there won’t be any moving around and there are no gaps on either side. Your dentist won’t need to touch the surrounding teeth in order to replace missing teeth.
Who is a candidate for implants?
If you want to get implants then the ideal candidate needs to have healthy gums and enough bone matter in your jaw to support the new teeth. You will also need to commit to good oral hygiene practices in order maintain your implants. Speak with your dentist to see if you are a candidate for implants, you will like them far better than regular dentures.