First, the Basics. What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants installed by the average implant specialist is called a root-form implant. This means that it is a substitution for a tooth root that replaces the natural root in the area where the tooth is lost. It’s highly imperative to replace the root when considering your dental replacement options and not just the visible part (which is the crown). Why? It is the natural root, secure within the jaw or upper mouth that preserves the bone. Without the root, there is no tooth!
When a root is absent, bone that has been supporting it will disintegrate or deteriorate. This is called bone resorption and can result in unsightly facial malformation as well as severely reduced functions like biting and chewing. The result of disintegrating bone, which occurs with total tooth loss, can result in collapsing facial features, loss of lip support and the deepening of wrinkling surrounding the mouth. The look of the nose can become beaked as the chin and nose appear to tilt toward each other and come closer together.
Even so, bone can be saved by the replacement of absent tooth roots. This is done by installing dental implants, sometimes called teeth implants. Bone will form a powerful attachment to the implants, which provide functioning as the normal root would. The implants provide a powerful underpinning that allows for a natural, healthy bite and chew. Implants stimulate bone, causing the bone to secure the implants in position. This also results in a restoration of the facial features, boosting self-confidence and quality of life.
The roots of dental implants are tiny. They are titanium, a substance that the body won’t reject. With a general success rate of 95% or more, and forty-plus years of proven research, implants offer the greatest long-term prognosis of all forms of tooth replacement.
The Three Elements of Dental Implants
Teeth replaced by dental implants have three elements to them.
The Implant: this will replace the absent natural root.
The Abutment: the post connecting to the implant. It will protrude through the gum line to act as an anchor to which the synthetic crown is attached.
The Crown: Made of porcelain, the crown will be screw-retained or permanently cemented to the abutment, which offers a natural, attractive final appearance to the restoration. None of these are affected by bacterial attack and any ensuing decay that can be experienced with natural teeth or conventional crowns and bridge work. Dental implants are made to last a lifetime.
The ways that dental implants (or teeth implants) have revolutionized the dental industry are many. Dental implants take on a myriad of forms, from individual tooth replacement, to bridges, to denture implants such as the All On 4 method, to the full replacement of multiple, individual teeth.
It’s important to explore all the options of dental implant procedures available to you before deciding which will serve you best.