Patients looking to straighten teeth or address common orthodontic problems may be able to use the Invisalign® system. Similar to traditional braces, these aligners work by putting pressure on the teeth and moving them into a better position over time. While regular braces have been around for centuries, invisible aligners are relatively new to the…
What Are Dental Implants?
Implants are as close as dental prosthetics get to natural, healthy teeth. They allow you to go through life without always having to worry about your teeth, and implants do not require specialized maintenance, just good oral hygiene and biannual checkups.
Understanding dental implants
Implants work in much the same way a real tooth works. The most accurate way to describe one would be to call it an artificial root. It bonds with the patient's jawbone tissue, providing a stable foundation for an artificial tooth that is attached to it.
The crown that serves as an artificial tooth is sometimes attached to the implant with the help of an abutment. The crown used is matched to the color of the patient's remaining teeth so it blends right in.
Implants provide a permanent solution that typically lasts patients for the rest of their lives if they practice good oral hygiene.
What separates implants from other dental prosthetics?
The main difference between implants and many of the prosthetics used in dentistry is the fact that implants replace the lost root that comes out when a tooth is lost. There are no other dental prosthetics that replace these important roots, besides hybrids that are attached to implants.
By serving as artificial roots, implants keep the patient's jawbone healthy by keeping it well stimulated. This prevents it from breaking down the same way a person's muscles would deteriorate if they were inactive for a prolonged period.
Healthy bone tissues help to maintain a youthful appearance. Those who have started losing jawbone tissue typically develop a sunken look and can accelerate the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Other benefits of implants include:
- Looks and feels just like a real tooth
- There is no adjustment period with implants
- Prevents teeth alignment issues from developing as is usually the case when a person loses a tooth
- Provides a longer-lasting solution than any of the alternatives available
- Allows the patient to forget one of their teeth is a prosthetic
How implants are installed
The process usually starts with the dentist evaluating the patient to ensure they are healthy enough for oral surgery. The dentist will go over the patient's medical history, find out about any medication the patient is taking and find out about the patient's use of alcohol and tobacco products. They will also evaluate any health issues that target the immune system, as well as determine the density of the patient's jawbone.
Once the person has been cleared, the dentist will schedule a date for the installation of the implant. An anesthetic is administered during the procedure and an incision might be made into the person's gums. The implant is inserted into the jaw and the site is stitched back up.
The patient would then typically have to wait up to six months while the implant fuses with bone tissue. A crown is then attached to the implant.
Get evaluated for implants
Contact our office today if you are thinking about replacing your missing teeth. We will guide you through the process and help you determine whether implants are a good fit for you.
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