Dental implants are becoming the most common method for replacing missing teeth because they are the closest you can get to having real teeth. The benefits versus other traditional methods of teeth replacement are numerous. Appearance wise, dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. On top of that, they feel and work just like natural teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, are often ill-fitting and tend to shift around. Here are a few things that you should know about dental implants:
1. The Implant
The part that actually gets implanted into your jawbone is a small titanium post. This post takes the place of the root of the missing tooth. Since the absence of a tooth root causes jawbone atrophy, this is a very important step. Eventually, bone loss from missing roots could lead to losing other teeth. Implants prevent this by filling in the gap that missing tooth roots leave behind. Additionally, they provide a firm base for the crown that will be placed on top. Computer imaging technology allows cosmetic dentists to create a model of the patient’s mouth that enables them to plan fast, successful implant surgery.
2. The Crown
After the titanium posts have been implanted in the jawbone, an abutment is placed on top. Abutments are the parts that the crowns are attached to. Crowns are the tooth-like structures that resemble natural teeth. They are usually made out of porcelain or zirconium. As mentioned before, these materials are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. Porcelain is a weaker material compared to zirconium and is more susceptible to chipping and breaking. They are suitable, however, for teeth where less force is required. A cosmetic dentist will take impressions of your teeth to ensure that your crowns resemble your natural teeth.
3. Possible Complications
Generally, patients have no reason to fear undergoing a dental implant procedure. Due to advances in dental technology, dental implants have a 97% success rate. However, there are a few complications that can arise. First, not every dentist performing dental implants has the proper training and experience. Patients may not be satisfied with the look and fit of their implants. Make sure that the dentist performing your procedure is qualified. A second complication has to do with the density of the jawbone. Bone grafting can solve this problem, but the procedure will take longer than normal. Lastly, in rare cases the body may reject the titanium implant. The procedure would be performed again, possibly using different materials.
In short, dental implants are a high return, low-risk investment. They are a long-lasting, functional, beautiful, and safe replacement for teeth. Schedule a free consultation by filling out an online form or calling (713)766-1493.