Dental implants are one of the options available to individuals who are looking to replace lost natural teeth. This option is the only tooth replacement option that also replaces the lost roots. This is an important detail since people who have lost a tooth often find themselves dealing with jawbone tissue loss due to the…
Dental Implants: Artifical Tooth Root and Your Jawbone
Getting dental implants is one of the most effective ways to replace teeth and restore the function of the mouth. Be aware, however, that this procedure does require some invasive work. The procedure comes in multiple steps and can take months until it is complete. Plus, the recovery period can last several weeks before you are used to the artificial teeth. The good news is that implants are durable and have both cosmetic and health benefits.
A description of dental implants
Implants consist of a few different parts, designed to withstand years of wear and tear. The implants also function like natural teeth, allowing the person to eat most foods and regain an attractive smile. The first part is a titanium implant, or post, which acts as the tooth’s root. On top of the post is a smaller piece called an abutment. The dentist lastly secures a natural-looking crown to the abutment. It will be similar in size, shape, and color to an actual healthy tooth.
Determining if implants are right
Dental implants may not make sense for every patient looking for a tooth-replacement option. One of the first things the dentist will evaluate is whether the person has healthy bone growth in the jaw. This is essential for stability and strength in the implants. This treatment may also be the right choice for someone who is missing one or a few teeth. However, implants can be a total tooth-replacement treatment, as well.
What the dentist does if there is poor bone growth
An unhealthy jaw or lack of bone will not provide the foundation and anchor for the dental implants. This does not necessarily disqualify the patient from getting implants, though. The dentist may consider doing a bone graft in this case. To do this, the dentist will take bone from another part of the body and use it to build up the jawbone. The dentist may also consider using artificial bone or bone from an animal.
Implanting the posts
Once the dentist determines the jawbone is strong enough or completes the grafting process, it is time to start with implant treatment. The dentist first numbs the patient with a local anesthetic. Once the patient is comfortable, the dentist makes an incision in the gum. Next, the dentist inserts the screw-like posts deep into the bone. Lastly, the dentist closes the incision wound.
Over the next few months, the patient’s gums will heal. Importantly, during this time, the posts will fuse to the bone. This allows the implants to have a firm base, strong enough to support chewing. Once the patient heals, they will return to the dentist’s office for the rest of the procedure.
Your jawbone is critical to getting implants
If you are interested in getting dental implants, talk to your dentist today. Your dentist will start by taking X-rays to ensure that your jawbone can support implants. Fortunately, bone grafts can help overcome any concerns with bone growth. You can then enjoy the benefits that implants provide for your oral health and smile.
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