An Overview of Dental Implants

Reviewed: May 25, 2016
By eHealthIQ
An Overview of Dental Implants

In recent years, dental implants have changed the face of dentistry and given people a new way to preserve their teeth. The technology has become even better, and the look and feel of a dental implant is more natural than bridges or dentures. This overview of dental implants will help you understand what is involved in the process.

Made of Titanium

A dental implant is typically made of titanium or a titanium alloy, which is more biocompatible than other metals. It is the same metal used in joint replacements, and it actually fuses with the bone in the jaw, creating a stable socket for your tooth.

Stabilizes the Jaw Bone

When a tooth is lost, your jaw bone typically will absorb some of the bone under that tooth back into your body. This occurs whether you have a tooth there, or are wearing dentures or a bridge. Having a dental implant there, however, also prevents the need for the dentist to have to file your opposite tooth down for a bridge. An implant retains the bone structure under that tooth when it is installed.

Types of Dental Implants

There are two main types of implants.

1. Endosteal implants – This type of implant is attached in the jawbone, and is the most common type. They are shaped like small screws, plates, or cylinders.

2. Subperiosteal implants – This kind of implant is placed on top of, but not into, the jawbone. It is often used in patients who have a small or shallow jawbone and who are not interested in rebuilding it for endosteal implants.

Dental implants enable people to have their teeth restored in a way that looks natural. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth, or even all of your teeth.

The Installation Process

If no rebuilding of the jawbone needs to be performed, the dentist will first put the implant into your jawbone, or on it. After it heals, a connector is going to be put on top of the implant and your teeth will be secured to it. The crown is the replacement tooth, and it will match the color of your other teeth.

Advantages of Dental Implants

The clearest advantage of implants is that your teeth are just like your natural teeth. They are secured in your mouth and you do not need to worry about them slipping, falling out, causing you to mispronounce words, or be self-conscious of them.

Dental Implants Enable You to Look Better

When other methods of tooth replacement are used, as more bone is absorbed, your jaw recedes and it changes the way you look. Implants can enable you to maintain (or regain) your smile and more youthful look. This helps you keep your self-esteem and be more comfortable with your appearance, as well as letting you eat your favorite foods.

Any other questions you might have about dental implants can be answered by a professional dentist near you that performs this service. Talking to them will help you know if implants are right for you.

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