Dental Implants - Natural Look & Feel for Tooth Restoration
May 2, 2016
Dental implants can be used to restore your missing or decayed teeth in a way that looks and feels more natural than other options.
If you are uncomfortable about your smile because of a missing tooth, dental implants may provide a solution that will restore your confidence. This option will give your teeth a more natural look than dentures or bridges. Additionally, the only care required is good oral hygiene. There are several advantages to this type of restoration over other types that were more popular in the past. However, the process for this restoration is not a simple one-time procedure.
Dental implants are root-like structures, commonly made of titanium. Typically, an entire tooth restoration using these artificial roots occurs in two or three steps.
The first step involves a surgical procedure to insert the implants in the jaw. Once they are inserted, the implants will fuse with the jaw bone. This process is called osseointegration, and it can take three to six months to complete. During the second step, an extension is attached to the artificial root. The extension is called a post or an abutment, and it is used to connect the replacement tooth. Once it is attached, the gum tissue around the post must heal. In two-step procedures, the implant and post are inserted at the same time during the initial surgery. The second or third step is the placement of the new tooth onto the post.
The replacement tooth is a dental crown or a cap that is made to look like your natural teeth. Your dentist uses impressions of your teeth to create a crown that is similar in shape, size, and color. He or she will also use a model of your bite to ensure that the crown will not be uncomfortable when you are speaking or chewing. Although the process of getting dental implants may take time, the benefits of this restoration will be worth it.
The other options for replacing decayed or missing teeth are usually dentures or bridges. Since dentures are removable, they can often be uncomfortable and slide around when you are eating. They also require the use of adhesives to hold them in place. Dentures that do not fit right can also impair your speech, causing mumbling or slurring of words. Since dental implants become permanently fused to your jaw bone, they will not slide around and you will not need any adhesives. Your own teeth impressions allow the dentist to make the crown the proper shape and size, so it will not interfere with your speech either.
Dental bridges are often held in place using the adjacent teeth. This means the teeth on each side of your missing tooth may have to be shaved down for the false teeth to fit over them. With dental implants, your healthy teeth do not need to be altered, and only the structure of the missing tooth is artificially constructed. A three-tooth bridge may also require special care because you cannot clean between the teeth with floss. Implants can be cleaned with normal brushing, flossing, and mouthwash.
While there are many advantages to dental implants features you do need to take care of them to make them last. Caring for them is as simple as regular oral hygiene and routine visits to your dentist. This type of tooth restoration can improve your self-esteem by returning your smile to the way it used to look.