A dental implant is a metal device designed to replace missing teeth. The device is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent.
Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.
Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone, a process called osseointegration. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes. Candidates for dental implants must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.
What Does A Dental Implant Involve?
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing.
Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft.
Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages.
First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth.
Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, of course, they don’t have to be taken out all the time.