Dental implants are one of the best solutions for missing teeth. When you have a severely damaged or decayed tooth that cannot be saved with a crown or root canal therapy, then your dentist may recommend removing it completely.
Unfortunately, any spaces left unfilled between your teeth cause adjacent teeth to shift towards the gap which causes bite misalignment and other problems. In addition, without having a tooth root stimulating the underlying bone tissue will lead to jawbone atrophy; this leads on making you look older as well as shrink in size of face (this is due because there’s less stimulation). If your dentist does recommend an extraction he/she also suggests what would be appropriate for replacement option – prevention of these things from happening.
Dental Implants – What to Expect
Dental implants are made from a biocompatible material that completely integrates with your bone tissue. If your dentist determines that you’re a good candidate for implants, the dentist will surgically insert the implant, which is usually in the form of a screw, into your jawbone. Dental implants come in different sizes to suit the quality of your jawbone.
As it heals in the next few months, the screw will integrate with the underlying bone through a process known as osseointegration. This will provide strong and sturdy support for your new teeth that function as the root of your tooth replacement.
When the implant has healed, an abutment is attached to it on one side to hold the tooth in place. Your replacement tooth is then connected to the abutment on the other side. The tooth is custom made to match the shape and color of your existing natural teeth.
Dental implants are the only restorative option that stops bone atrophy after tooth loss. A dental implant comprises three parts:
- Titanium post – that is surgically placed into the jawbone
- Abutment – used to attach the post to the crown
- Crown – section of the tooth above the gum line that is connected to the post via the abutment
Who is the Right Candidate for Dental Implants?
Although the success rate of dental implants is high, at over 96%, the right candidate should:
- Have good overall health with no signs of gum disease, tooth decay, or jawbone degeneration
- Have sufficient jawbone tissue to support the posts
- Have no conditions that put you at risk of surgical procedures, like over bleeding
If you don’t have enough bone tissue to support an implant, the dentist may recommend a bone regeneration procedure to build up the base for the implant. This will, however, increase the duration of your dental implant treatment from the usual 4-6 months.
It is important that you discuss with your dentist about your candidacy for dental implants.