Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts (abutment screw) that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts (abutment screw) provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Learn more about dental implants!
The placement of dental implants involves two procedures.
First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding (integrating) with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time.
The second phase begins, after the implant has bonded (integrated) to the jawbone. The implants are uncovered at that time and the small posts (abutment screws) that protrude through the gums are placed. These will act as anchors for the artificial teeth.
When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts (abutment screws) will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
What Types Of Prosthesis/Restorations Are Available
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant.
A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants.
A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended.
A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve you life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.