What Are Dental Implants and Do I Need Them?
Dental implants have become a popular solution for missing teeth. These devices offer a permanent fix for mending the bite when a single tooth or multiple teeth are missing.
Whether tooth loss has happened from a sports injury, fall or gradual damage over time, an implant can replace the tooth with ease.
These artificial teeth are the closest you can get to the real thing. Missing teeth can be a disruption in daily life. Implants allow you to eat, smile, talk and laugh confidently without constantly worrying about the way your teeth look and feel.
What are dental implants?
Essentially, dental implants are faux teeth meant to stand in for missing natural teeth. Instead of a temporary, removable solution, like a bridge or denture, implants are placed directly into the jawbone like a natural tooth root, becoming a permanent part of the bite.
There are three parts to an implant: the fixture, the abutment and the prosthesis. The fixture is a titanium post that is surgically inserted directly into the jawbone. The abutment is a small part of the post that sticks out above the gum line. The prosthesis is a tooth-shaped crown that attaches to the abutment.
The first surgical appointment takes around one hour. A temporary crown will be placed while the jawbone fuses with the implant. After a short period of about four to six months, the jaw fuses with the fixture and heals around the implant. A permanent crown is placed and the implant procedure is complete. Now you have a new tooth for life!
With proper care and maintenance, an implant can last a lifetime. Since it is made of synthetic materials, it is resistant to bacterial attack. Keep in mind that implants can still be damaged by trauma.
Do I need dental implants?
The short answer is, yes. If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you will want to get those spaces filled right away, and a dental implant is the most effective tool to complete your bite.
As soon as a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth begin to experience changes. Occlusion refers to the top and bottom sets of teeth meeting together. This force of the teeth closing against each other is crucial in eating and speaking correctly.
When a tooth is missing on the bottom, for example, there is no opposing force to meet the top tooth in the same position. Since there is no bite force to keep the opposing tooth functional, it can begin to loosen. Over time, the tooth can even fall out due to disuse.
Teeth located on either side of the missing tooth will start to move toward and fill that space, causing bite problems and crooked teeth. This phenomenon can even lead to jaw joint pain and more tooth loss.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Those with a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth can usually get an implant. However, the jawbone density needs to be in good shape for the implant to be successful.
Request an appointment here: https://www.stgeorgedentalcare.com or call St. George Dental Care at (435) 628-9099 for an appointment in our St George office.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Implants.
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