Chances are you have heard about dental implants. This revolutionary tooth replacement option has changed the lives of many people all over the United States and throughout the world. You may even have a friend or family member who has gotten dental implants. But do you really understand how dental implants work?
Dental implants serve as replacements for missing tooth roots and provide for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. First, prosthetic screws made of titanium are placed into the jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots. The jawbone is then allowed to heal, fusing the screws into the bone in a process known as osseointegration. Once the jawbone has healed and the screws are anchored tightly into place, a crown, bridge or denture can be attached to the implant, to take the place of one or more missing teeth.
Since dental implants are actually fused to the jawbone, they can exert more pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure than dentures or traditional bridges. This makes it easier to chew and digest foods that are high in fiber. With dental implants, you can eat from a wide variety of food groups and you do not have to restrict your diet as you would with dentures or other tooth replacement options. And, unlike dentures, dental implants do not cause bone loss.
It is true that dental implants cost more than dentures or dental bridges, however, for many, the added value is more than worth the extra cost. Only you and your dentist can decide the best tooth replacement option to meet your needs. The important thing is to replace your missing teeth. Failure to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth can lead to serious dental health problems including orthodontic relapse and periodontal disease. If you have missing teeth and are wondering if dental implants are right for you, talk to your dentist today.
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