At one time, people faced with tooth loss had very few options. Today, this is no longer the case. Hi tech dentistry has multiple options to choose from including the use of dental implants. Dental implants have become one of the more popular options and with good reason. Implants have a very high success rate and are the closest thing yet to growing back a natural tooth!
Dental implants typically consist of three parts; a cylindrical post, an abutment and a crown. Depending on the type of the implant, one end of the cylindrical post is inserted into the jawbone. Later, the exposed end gets outfitted with an abutment and a crown. Together, they offer patients a variety of benefits.
One of the primary benefits of dental implant tooth replacement is the impact on a person’s bone health. To understand that impact fully, it’s important to first talk about what happens when a tooth is lost.
Soon after a tooth is removed, the supporting, alveolar bone begins to be lost as well. The alveolar bone is an area of the jawbone that surrounds our teeth, sits on top of the basal bone and helps shape our face.
Our alveolar jaw bone structure is kept healthy by the positions of our natural teeth as well as by stimulation from our natural chewing movements. The bottom line is that when natural teeth are lost the health of the bone and the surrounding tissue starts to deteriorate. Jaw bone thins and the shape of the person’s face may change creating additional problems.
Dental implants can stop jaw bone deterioration from occurring because they take the place of the natural teeth below the gum line. Other dental devices, like bridges and dentures, do not go below the gum line and therefore they are not capable of preventing bone deterioration.
In addition, because dental implants closely resemble natural teeth, you can eat, drink and speak normally with the implants in place. The same cannot be said of dentures which have a tendency to move around during normal use. When dentures move around, they often cause the wearer physical discomfort and speech difficulties.
Another way to replace a missing tooth is with a fixed bridge. If an implant is possible, it offers a significant advantage over bridgework in that healthy teeth do not need to be used as anchors. With dental implants, the jawbone serves as the anchor. When using dental implants the remaining remaining healthy, natural teeth do not sustain unnecessary damage.
Unlike the alternatives of dentures or fixed bridgework, dental implants are long lasting and extremely durable. They don’t require nightly removal, the use of messy adhesives or soaking solutions. As such, they are easy to maintain and less likely to become lost or damaged.
Whether you are in need of the replacement of one tooth or all your teeth, dental implants can offer a wonderful solution. The place to start is to have a discussion with an experienced implant dentist or prosthodontist who has the expertise in dental implantology to explain all your options.