It used to be that whenever there was missing tooth or teeth, the options were either to use dentures or dental bridges. While these methods may have served its purpose, there were inherent disadvantages. The natural bone, where the missing tooth was located may continue to shrink, thereby requiring a new bridge after a number of years. The healthy teeth needed to be ground down to make room for bridge abutments, sometimes damaging these teeth.
Dental Implants a Viable Option
Dental care has certainly gone a long since then. Now there are dental implants that can be used in place of false teeth instead of dentures or dental bridges. With dental implants, teeth now can be replaced without causing damage to the surrounding teeth and at the same time offer a functioning dental part just like the natural tooth. Unlike the other alternatives, dental implants may last for a very long period and will remain very strong even with the constant stress experienced by the teeth.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant may be considered a dental device that is embedded in the jawbone and acts as a replacement root of a tooth. The material normally used is titanium which is noted for its strength and durability. Once in place, the bone tends to grow in and around the implant after several months, making it sturdier to anchor a new tooth. This process is known as osseointegration wherein the titanium implant may be integrated or bonded to the bone.
A dental crown which your dentist will prepare may then be attached to the implant. This dental crown would be made in such a way that it will match the existing teeth. Aside from functioning optimally, this artificial tooth would have a strong base and will appear like a normal tooth. Ie, there are no connectors that join the false tooth to the adjacent teeth that may appear to be visible in some dental bridges.
What are the Benefits of Using Dental Implants?
The use of a dental implant may offer a number of benefits to the patient. For one, the teeth immediately near where the bridges would have been attached do not need to be involved in the treatment. This will mean long years of service for both these teeth. Secondly, the insertion of the dental implant would greatly be of help in preventing any further bone loss in the area where the tooth is missing. Thirdly, implants may be used to stabilize loose dentures thereby limiting further damage due to loosening. Unlike dentures where the adjacent teeth would have to be reshaped, with a dental implant, no alteration would be required on those teeth thereby maintain their integrity. Fourthly, a comfortable feeling of a well-fitted tooth and one that will appear very natural builds confidence. And lastly, a patient can expect the dental implant to last for a very long time.
Is a Dental Implant Procedure Dangerous?
A dental implant procedure is probably one of the safest medical procedures with a very high success rate. While dental implants may be suitable for many people, your implant dentist provider will conduct extensive evaluation of your teeth, gums, and bone, in the mouth, on dental models, and on x-rays before proceeding with dental implant treatment. To minimize any risks, patients are advised to get the services of dentists who have the skills and experience in this type of dental work.