In the past couple of decades, dental implants have changed the way that oral health professionals treat tooth loss. Before implants, only the missing crowns of teeth were replaceable. This was done with prosthetics like bridges and dentures. Today, however, dental implants are used to replace the missing roots of teeth and hold prosthetics that replace their visible structures.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant and its accompanying restoration or prosthetic can replicate the functionality of a biological tooth. The implant, a small screw-shaped component, is embedded into the jawbone to replace the missing root of a tooth. Since a dental implant is made from titanium, the bone in the jaw will fuse to its structure through a biological process called osseointegration.
Once the implant is stabilized by the jaw, a permanent restoration or prosthetic can be attached to it. Dental crowns are commonly used to replace one missing tooth while a series of dental implants and bridges or dentures can address the loss of multiple teeth. Restorations and prosthetics made from lifelike materials such as porcelain lend a very natural looking appearance to replacement teeth.
Advantages of Implant Dentistry
Dental implants and the restorations/prosthetics attached to them present unique benefits to patients including improved oral function and durability.
Since other tooth replacement methods do not address the loss of the roots of teeth, patients can experience problems with oral function. Tooth loss, in general, contributes to bone deterioration that affects the vitality of existing biological teeth as well as the longevity of prosthetic teeth. Implants, however, keep bone intact to protect biological teeth and prosthetics alike.
Dental implants are very durable and low maintenance, too. In addition to lasting for decades, dental implants are easy to maintain. Keeping implants clean is as simple as brushing and flossing as one normally would.
If you have questions about implant dentistry, call Dakota Prosthodontics and Implant Center to reserve a consultation with our prosthodontist.