What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants function and have the look of natural teeth. A special anchor is surgically inserted into the jawbone. This anchor, or post, has a crown placed on top of it, which gives the appearance of a natural tooth. Crowns come in a variety of colors to match the surrounding teeth. They also come in a variety of materials, which offer different levels of durability.
How Dental Implants Differ from Bridges and Dentures
Bridges and dentures also look and feel like natural teeth, but they can be troublesome. Bridges attach to other teeth while dentures sit inside the mouth on top of the gums. Both can become loose, have food particles get trapped beneath them, and people often experience bone loss from both. Without teeth, bone-loss occurs in the jawbone. Because implants are anchored into the jawbone, the mouth does not suffer from bone-loss. This lends to better facial symmetry and other benefits.
Dental Implant Benefits
Apart from aesthetic benefits, implants allow for better oral hygiene, chewing habits, better overall health, improved speech and permanence. Because a dental implant performs like a regular tooth, regular brushing and flossing help to keep the mouth clean. A dental implant performs like a tooth so it functions in the same way. It can be used for biting and chewing like a regular tooth. Better oral hygiene leads to better overall health. Gums that have gingivitis or periodontitis allow for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and to the body’s vital organs. Many people can develop a lisp or other speech problems as a result from a missing tooth. Replacing this tooth helps preserve a person’s form of speech. Lastly, a dental implant is a permanent solution to tooth-loss. It is durable, and it can last a lifetime with proper care.
People who are good candidates for surgery and who have good dental hygiene may get dental implants. Patients should have a good amount of bone mass in order to anchor a dental implant, which makes timing of the essence in regards to tooth replacement. Diabetics, smokers and people with heart disease are not generally considered for implants, but this is up to individual dentists and prosthodontists. More information can be found by visiting Prosthodontic Associates.