What Are Dental Implants?
It wasn’t too long ago that if you suffered from tooth loss due to decay, disease, or injury, the only treatment options available to you were bridges or dentures. Today, there’s another option. Dental implants have revolutionized dental care.
Dental implant procedures actually replace the roots of your missing teeth. These man-made roots serve as the foundation for your new and improved smile. They can be either permanent or removable replacement teeth that look and function exactly like your own natural teeth. You can have a single, full, or even mini dental implants. Tooth implants are as close to having your natural teeth back as you’re ever going to get. And with proper care, your teeth implants can last a lifetime.
What is a dental implant and why is it special?
When you lose real teeth, your dentist will remove the entire tooth, including its root, that previously extended quite a way into your jawbone. The tooth root helps to stabilize the tooth, anchoring it firmly in place and ensuring it is strong enough for you to bite and chew your food.
A dental implant, commonly referred to as artificial tooth, closely replicates a real tooth root, performing a similar function and is unique compared with other methods of tooth replacement.
The main component of a dental implant is the post or screw that is inserted into the jawbone, replacing a real tooth root. Once in the bone, something unique happens as the implant post is what’s called osteophilic, meaning it is bone loving, and it quickly becomes fused with the bone around it in a process called Osseointegration. Osseointegration was initially discovered by chance, but its discovery has revolutionized dentistry. Once Osseointegration is complete, the implant post is firmly fused in place, allowing for no movement at all. It’s a structure that also helps to prevent bone loss.
Real tooth roots help preserve and protect the bone around them as every time you bite on a tooth, the stresses of these biting forces are transmitted through the tooth, into the tooth root, and out into the bone around it. These stresses tell the body that it must continue renewing old bone cells as they die off. When a real tooth root is removed, the stresses are lost, but a dental implant post artificially replaces them.
It’s a critical factor because the bone around teeth is called alveolar bone and is quite fragile. In areas where the bone is thinnest, for example, round the upper front teeth, it resorbs more quickly, providing less and less support for the facial muscles in your cheeks and lips. This is why people who lose multiple teeth will often have facial features that seem to have caved in or collapsed.
Artificial teeth help prevent bone loss and provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth. There are multiple solutions for replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
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