The dental implant is an excellent alternative for a patient who has lost one or more teeth. It’s also a very good example of an advancement in dental technology that means a better functional result and the preservation of better health for the patient.
What Is a Dental Implant?
It is a fixed, permanent replacement for a missing tooth. The root of the tooth is replaced by a fine titanium post. The visible part of the tooth is replaced by a porcelain crown that is matched to your other teeth. It will feel and function like your natural teeth and with care, can last for the rest of your life.
Who Can Receive a Dental Implant?
Most people who are missing a tooth can receive dental implants. Your dentist will need to review your medical history to make this determination. He would need to make sure you do not have any medical condition and are not taking any medications that might impede the healing of the implant.
A careful inspection of your teeth and gums will need to be made. Your teeth, gums and the bone in your jaws need to be in good condition to ensure the success of the implant. Some people have lost bone mass in their jaws. They may still be able to get an implant, but may need their bone mass built up first.
How the Dental Implant Procedure Is Done
After determining that the patient is healthy and ready for an implant, the dentist will create a small opening in the jaw in the location of the missing tooth. This is where the fixture—the metal post that replaces the root—will be placed. Once the fixture is in the right location, this area will be allowed to heal for a few months. Gradually, the bone in the area will integrate with the titanium implant.
When the implant has healed well, an abutment will be attached to the top. The abutment is a part that will link the fixture to the tooth that will be added later. Again, this step is followed by a period of healing.
Finally, the porcelain crown will be manufactured and attached to the abutment. Now you have a permanently fixed replacement tooth that is indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Advantages of a Dental Implant
Your new replacement tooth will function just like a natural tooth when you eat or speak. It needs no special care. You will simply need to brush twice daily, as usual, and floss once daily. Regular visits to your dentist will help you keep all your teeth healthy, including this new one.
Dental implants can replace single teeth or be used to anchor partial or complete dentures. As anchors for dentures, you can finally see an end to dentures that shift around when you try to eat or talk.
Implants also contribute to stronger bone in your jaws. When you bite or chew with your natural teeth, the pressure is passed along to your jaw bone. The bone is built to absorb this pressure. When a tooth is lost, there’s no more stimulation for the bone that used to support it. Over time, this bone can deteriorate and even collapse, which can change the shape of a person’s face and make them look older. Dental implants preserve the health of this bone and therefore, a person’s youthful appearance.
Learn more about dental implants and find out if you are a good candidate for this procedure. Call Bloomfield Hills Dental Associates at 248-290-2900 to learn more.