Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth replacement. As opposed to traditional prosthetics that require support from healthy teeth or gum ridges, dental implants are surgically implanted into the jaw bone. Once it is restored with a prosthetic, an implant looks and feels natural. While traditional bridges, partials, and dentures need to be replaced periodically, dental implants offer lifetime tooth replacement, with good oral health.
For most cases, implants are placed during a one-visit outpatient surgery in which a titanium post is secured into the jaw where a tooth root is missing. Given time, the bio-compatible post has the unique ability to fuse to the bone during a process called osseointegration, which takes about three to six months.
When the implants are solidly fused to the jaw, the dentist will attach an abutment to the top of each post. The abutment allows for tooth replacement by supporting a crown, bridge, partial, or denture.
Missing teeth cause more than dental concerns. Slipping, loose dentures or a few missing teeth can make a person feel self-conscious. Poor self-esteem may lead to less social interaction, less frequent smiling, and depression. Adults who obviously need tooth replacement may experience career obstacles related to their appearance, as well. With implants, patients regain a confident smile and attractive appearance.
Because they are anchored to the jaw for optimal stability, dental implants allow patients to chew crunchy, sticky, or rubbery foods with ease. This can improve diet and positively impact overall health. In addition, speech can improve with tooth replacements, as the mouth again features all of the structures necessary for pronouncing a wide range of sounds.
With implant dentures, patients no longer have to worry about messy, foul-smelling denture adhesive or unreliable suction. Instead, implant dentures snap onto abutments for a reliable hold, even when eating. Implant dentures also remove the potential for facial collapse and jawbone deterioration, which results in a more youthful appearance.
Overall, dental implants offer long lasting, reliable, and natural looking tooth replacement. They require minimal care and regular dental visits.