A dental implant is a lasting alternative for a missing tooth.

A dental implant is a lasting alternative for a missing tooth. Unlike dentures, which are artificial teeth affixed to a removable plate, implants are surgically attached to the jawbone. The implants act as an anchor for an artificial tooth, and may be used in conjunction with bridges to take the place of multiple missing surrounding teeth. The dentist will place an implant on the teeth at either end of the space and attach a bridge to both implants. The bridge works as a noninvasive way to fill in the remaining missing teeth.

Dental Complications Of Losing Teeth

Cosmetic: Losing a tooth can modify your physical image in a significant way. If a tooth is lost in the front of the mouth, the smile will be noticeably different. If more than a few of the front teeth are missing, the lips lose their support and sag inward. The molars are made to support the elevation of the face. Partial loss of the molars can lead to bite-collapse, causing the front teeth to be pushed forward.

Emotional: When a person loses a tooth it oftentimes hurts their self confidence, causing them to hide their teeth around other people. This can make it hard to smile, laugh, or even speak in social scenarios. Many even become removed from others, and report depression-like conditions.

Oral Health: Losing a tooth could be painful and result in more than just cosmetic problems. Teeth depend on surrounding teeth for support and can easily end up being weaker when bordering teeth are lost. Losing a tooth can also result in bone loss in the jaw over time. Dental implants stimulate the bone, causing it to remain healthy longer.

Types Of Dental Implants

There are two kinds of dental implants, referred to as endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. The dentist will help you choose which implants are most ideal for you.

Endosteal Implants

Endosteal implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone. This is performed over two operative procedures. The first surgery positions the implant, and the second surgery is to attach a post to the implant. Once the surgery is finished, a crown is placed on the implant. If replacing several teeth, a bridge may be used between two implants.

Subperiosteal Implants

Subperiosteal implants are less invasive than endosteal implants. The dentist will surgically place a metal frame on the jawbone below the gum line. After the gums are healed, the frame is fused to the jawbone. The posts that are affixed to the frame are exposed and crowns are fixed to the posts. Subperiosteal implants are able to also hold up bridges whenever replacing several teeth.

Caring For Dental Implants

Dental implants are a very successful dental procedure when looked after properly. There are a handful of steps you can take to be sure your implants last. First and foremost, pay a visit to your dentist on a regular basis. This is important to your overall oral health, as well as preventative care. Seeing a small issue before it becomes larger is the key to preserving the integrity of the implants. Next, be sure you are observing excellent oral care at home by simply brushing and flossing daily. Stay away from chewing on ice, hard candy, and other hard foods that could break your crowns. Lastly, it is encouraged that you quit smoking or using tobacco products, as this weakens the jaw bone.

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