Welcome to the next entry in our ongoing series of patient information columns. Our goal is to educate the reader, thereby reducing any anxiety that a patient may feel from the unknown. Today, we unveil the mystery of:
Dental implants are the treatment of choice when all is lost (literally). If you are a retired hockey player or like a friend -who somehow tripped in the middle of a sidewalk, failed to catch herself, and fell, teeth first onto the cement andknocked out two teeth- you are a good candidate for dental implants. If you have lost one or more teeth to accident, injury, decay, or gingivitis (gum disease) dental implants are for you. Unlike your grandfather’s dentures or bridges, implants are a more natural and lasting solution to tooth loss. With proper care (just like your natural teeth) they will last a lifetime.
Dental implants are basically replacement tooth roots. An implant is a small titanium post which is inserted into the bone just like a natural tooth root. The latest technology dental implants can usually anchor to the bone immediately (provided there is still strong bone in the area). An abutment (a small connector post) is then attached to the implant. A dental crown is then attached to the abutment. A future Dental Mysteries entry will discuss dental crowns.
There are many advantages to dental implants. Because implants are secured in your jawbone, your new teeth will be just as strong as your natural teeth. They restore the forces of biting and chewing into the bones, the way nature intended. This stimulates those bone cells to regenerate and stay strong. Without this daily stress, your jawbones will wither away over time and can dramatically alter your appearance. Dental implants make eating easier and improve your appearance, thus boosting your self-esteem. Dental implants also eliminate the inconvenience of removable dentures. No more loose, slipping dentures that are embarrassing and affect your speech. No more denture adhesive. Whether you have a single missing tooth or you need a total smile makeover, dental implants may be the treatment for you.