Replacing missing teeth is an important part of maintaining your best oral health. Although there are a variety of ways your missing tooth or teeth can be replaced, the most advanced method is the dental implant. This method of tooth replacement is not only more effective, it is also more attractive and comfortable for the patient.
Components of the Dental Implant
There are basically two main components for a dental implant. These are the dental post and the crown. The dental post is similar to a screw and it is placed into the jawbone. Implant posts are made from titanium, a biocompatible material known for its durability. Most patients do not have an allergy reaction to this metal, which also makes it desirable for use. In the event that a patient may be allergic to titanium, Zirconia, which is metal-free, may be used. However, this is very rare.
The dental crown is the part of the implant that is attached to the post at the gumline. The crown looks like a natural tooth and is manufactured to match the color and shape of your natural teeth. Dental crowns can be made from metal, ceramic or porcelain. Often, porcelain crowns are combined with metal for more strength and durability.
Dental implant placement requires a small amount of surgery. The implant post is inserted into the space where the tooth root was before. Occasionally, a patient may need a sinus lift to prevent the implant from puncturing the sinus cavity, or a bone graft when the bone at the implant site is not strong enough to support an implant. Once the post has been placed, the site must be allowed to heal. It takes about four to six months for osseointegration to occur – this means that the bone and the post fuse together.
When sufficient healing has taken place, the next step is the attachment of the abutment. In this phase, the post is exposed, and a small piece called the abutment is fixed onto it. Your dentist will also take an impression to make sure the crown fits properly. Once the crown has been created, it is attached to the abutment.
Dental implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. Implant secured dentures are an option for patients who have several teeth missing. Implants can also be used to create dental bridges in cases where a bridge would not be feasible by traditional methods.
If you have missing teeth and would like to explore the option of dental implants, be sure to contact Engineered Smiles. We manufacture healthy smiles and we look forward to helping you get yours.