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Due to tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease), or injury, many people suffer tooth loss. In situations where a patient has lost a tooth, dental implants are an attractive option because they look, feel, and function like natural teeth. By replacing missing teeth with dental implants, a patient can maintain their natural facial contours and tooth space.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root (titanium post) that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or cemented bridge in place. Implants can also be used for orthodontic tooth movement. Dental implants don’t require neighboring teeth for support. They are independently permanent and stable. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely look and feel like real teeth.
There are many benefits to using a dental implant. In contrast to a denture, implants allow the patient to eat virtually anything. Whereas removable dentures may cause patients to mumble or slur their speech, implants won’t alter a patient’s ability to speak clearly. Because they don’t have to hassle with the inconvenience and discomfort of a removable prosthesis, dental implants offer patients greater freedom and comfort. In addition, placing a dental implant doesn’t require the reduction of other teeth like a tooth-supported bridge does. By leaving the surrounding teeth intact, access between teeth is not reduced, thus improving long-term oral hygiene. Implants are very durable and with proper care will last many years.
Implant posts are constructed with metallic and ceramic materials that are compatible with body tissue. There are a number of different types of implants. The dentist examines the amount of space and remaining bone to determine which implant to use. After placing the implant, a healing time is needed. This may take three to six months. Once the healing is complete, the dentist can perform restorative treatment.