You may have heard commercials about dental implants and how they can be life-changing for people who are missing teeth, but do not really understand what all is involved in this dental procedure. Dental implants are comprised of three parts:
- The titanium implant or screw that is placed into the jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots and fuses with the bone in a process known as Osseointegration,
- The abutment which fits over the portion of the implant that protrudes the gum line, and
- The crown, which is created by a restorative dentist or prosthodontist and fitted onto the abutment to take the place of a missing tooth
Dental implants are considered by most to the be gold standard in tooth replacement and allow for a fixed solution to missing teeth that provides for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. A dental implant can be used with a crown to replace a single tooth. Dental implants can also be used to provide additional support for complete dentures.
Although the cost of dental implants is higher than the cost of other tooth replacement options like bridges and complete and partial dentures, this system holds many advantages over other solutions. Most bridges needs to be replaced after about fifteen years, however, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Dental bridges can cause damage to the adjacent teeth (abutment teeth) while dental implants do not. Dentures that rest on the gum line can cause bone loss and other dental health problems when they are worn over a period of time. They are also at risk for slipping or falling out. Dental implants are actually placed into the jawbone and become fused with the bone so they provide a fixed solution that will not slip or fall out during talking, eating, etc. and do not cause bone loss.
If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth and are looking for a fixed solution that is comfortable to wear and natural in appearance, talk to your dentist about dental implants. There are very few medical rule outs for dental implants and most people with missing teeth are candidates for this revolutionary tooth replacement system.
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