Dental implants are designed to provide a basis for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The individual who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial lines will be preserved. The implants are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical 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 with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
Why do I Need a Dental Implant?
When you’ve lost a tooth, or a tooth has been damaged beyond repair by injury or decay, you’ll need to consider your alternatives. Living without one or more of your teeth can be painful and unhealthy. Temporary replacements, such as a bridge or dentures, can fill in the space, but they will not look or feel the same as your natural teeth, and can cause other problems, including damage to healthy teeth that are being used to support the artificial device, bone loss, and deterioration in the bone structure of your face.
Dental implants can be used to replace one or more of your teeth in a manner that is durable, beautiful, and that mimics your natural tooth structure.