Dental Implants: What You Need to Know
Dental implants are often suggested as an alternative to dentures or a bridge. Of all of the available options for tooth replacement, they offer the most resemblance to natural teeth.
A dental implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. The post acts as a replacement for the tooth root, providing a secure foundation for attaching a false tooth to replace the tooth that was lost.
Implants are placed in three steps:
1. The implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone, where it will fuse with the natural bone over a period of three to six months.
2. Once the implant and bone have fused together, an abutment is placed on the end of the post, and the gums are given time to heal around it. A temporary tooth can often be placed on the abutment, though eating with the tooth is restricted.
3. When all healing has taken place, a permanent false tooth is attached to the abutment, and normal eating can resume.
Implants have many benefits. Among them are the following:
• Implants are brushed and flossed just like normal teeth. No need to remove them for cleaning or deal with messy adhesives as with dentures.
• Speak naturally and eat anything you want with implants. They have no food restrictions as dentures do. And they will never move or fall out.
• Implants preserve other natural teeth, since they do not need to be anchored to natural teeth like a bridge does.
• Implants are the only tooth replacement option that preserves jawbone and, thus, your facial appearance.
Most people who are in good health can get implants. However, those with the following conditions may not be good candidates for implants.
• Grinding or clenching
• Insufficient jawbone
• Gum disease
For more information about dental implants, talk to our dentist.
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