Benefits of Dental Implants
The strength, stability, and natural appearance of dental implants make them an ideal solution for restoring your smile when you have one or more damaged or missing teeth.
Implants offer a number of benefits over traditional tooth replacement options such as standard bridges or dentures.
- Look and feel completely natural, improving your appearance and confidence
- Are permanent, and can last a lifetime with proper care
- Don’t irritate the gums the way dentures can
- Are stable and secure for improved eating and speech
- Are convenient and reliable – and can’t be lost or misplaced like dentures
- Help protect remaining teeth from shifting and becoming loose by filling in the gap left by missing teeth
- Help maintain fullness of the facial tissues for a more youthful look
- Can stimulate bone growth, helping prevent the unattractive “bite collapse” that denture wearers can suffer from
- Are strong enough to support other dental appliances, making bridgework or dentures more secure and comfortable
With all of these benefits, it’s easy to understand why dental implants are gaining in popularity and have become the gold standard for tooth replacement.
“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”
For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed in the jaw as an artificial root to support the prosthetic teeth. Through the process of osseointegration, implants become securely anchored in the jawbone and provide a strong foundation for the new teeth.
They look and function just like natural teeth – and in some ways may be better than natural teeth since they will not decay!
A dental implant-supported restoration incorporates three components:
- The Implant:An artificial tooth root that is surgically inserted into the jawbone as the foundation for new replacement teeth. Implants are usually made of pure titanium, a biologically compatible metal that has a long history of safety and efficacy. As the body heals, the bone grows around the implant, making it permanent and immovable. This process is called osseointegration.
- The Abutment:The connecting element between an implant and a dental restoration, known as a crown or prosthesis. This structure, made of ceramic or titanium, is screwed into the implant in preparation for crown placement.
- The Crown:The prosthetic tooth, or restoration, which is placed over the abutment. Crowns are usually custom-fabricated from porcelain or ceramic by your general dentist.
Types of dental implants
Most implants are made from commercially pure titanium. Different systems offer a variety of designs, but most often use tapered or straight screws. Zirconia, a ceramic material, is also used to manufacture implants and is sometimes the ideal choice for patients with allergies. The basic difference between different implants is the physical shape, the surface treatments that are applied to enhance the anchorage, and finally the components that are used to attach the new prosthetic tooth.