Many people lose teeth due to decay or damage. In these cases, cosmetic dentistry offers several solutions. The most natural looking and acting solutions to tooth loss today is available in the form of dental implants. So what are dental implants and are they right for you?
Until very recently, if you had lost a tooth or teeth, you only had the options of dentures or bridges. People who have relied on dentures and bridges throughout the years can attest to the fact that they are not perfect. Removal dentures can be problematic and move around. When they don’t sit properly in the mouth, they can be prone to clicking noises. They can also be uncomfortable. Fixed bridges of dentures rely on surrounding teeth to support and anchor the bridge. Unfortunately, bridges can damage these healthy teeth. And as the mouth ages and changes, dentures and bridges must be replaced every few years in order to fit properly.
Before dental implants, dentists would often use a fixed partial denture or bridge. With these, the two anchor teeth on either side were crowned to provide the extra support for the dentures. They provided for more normal wear but the two anchor teeth had to be adjusted to accommodate the crowns which caused damage to these teeth. With the fixed aspect of the dentures or bridge, it also made that area more susceptible to decay and the jawbone beneath it was also subject to deterioration.
When it comes to replacing missing teeth dental implants are now regarded as the most natural and permanent option available. An implant will address the loss of the whole tooth including the roots and provide a solid support for the prosthetic tooth.
The implant itself is a post made of titanium. Titanium has been used in medicine and surgery for years to replace bones and joints and is used because this metal is compatible with bone structure. Since teeth are similar in composition to bones, titanium is used in order to replace the old tooth structure. The procedure is a simple oral surgical procedure where these posts are fused to the bone to anchor the prosthetic tooth in place. Molds are taken of the patient’s mouth in order to properly fit the implant. After time, the bone fuses naturally to the titanium post. This fusion is called osseointegration and requires a few weeks to heal before the prosthetic tooth is affixed.
After the implantation has recovered and stabilized, a permanent prosthetic tooth or crown is attached. A single implant can also support a bridge. Dental implants not only look natural but function the same as the original tooth. Certain foods are never a problem and the care and maintenance of a dental implant are the same as for normal teeth.
Dental implants are now the most comfortable, natural-looking, and permanent and option for dealing with missing teeth. When you are looking for solutions for your tooth loss, call the cosmetic dental professionals at Alta Dental to see if dental implants can be the right option for you.