Although dental care has improved tremendously over the years, many people still lose teeth due to physical accidents or dental diseases such as gingivitis. For years, the only solutions for these problems have been dentures or temporary fillings, but currently, in our modern age people have the option of getting dental implants. Here are a few questions and answers about dental implants:
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a surgically applied, screw-like device that is inserted into the bone of the jaw and acts as a replacement for the natural root of the tooth. Attached to the implant is the abutment, which serves as a connector between the implant and the artificial crown.
The implant and bone are fused through a process called osseointegration, which makes the implant permanent. Osseo means bone, and integration means fusion.
An implant is made of titanium because it is lightweight and is not rejected by the body. Titanium also easily goes through the process of osseointegration, making it the perfect material for an implant. A dental implant will allow you to eat, talk and smile while looking and feeling completely natural.
What makes dental implants better than other treatments?
A dental implant is strong, stable and feels and functions like a real tooth. Implants allow you to smile, eat, talk and brush your teeth as if you had never lost any teeth.
With implants, you don't have to worry about your prosthetic teeth moving around in your mouth or falling out altogether as they can with dentures. Dental implants are also not susceptible to cavities, although they still need to be cleaned and maintained just like normal teeth.
Implants also last longer than any other tooth replacement options. Dental bridges may only last five to seven years; dental implants can last a lifetime with periodic adjustments. For all of these reasons, dental implants are the most logical solution for tooth loss.
Is it safe for me to get dental implants?
Although anyone who has lost teeth is a candidate for dental implants, there are still some scenarios that can affect whether or not dental implants are for you. If a person has uncontrolled diabetes then they would not be considered a good candidate for dental implants. Diabetics with uncontrolled blood sugar heal more slowly and are more prone to infection than a non-diabetic.
People who smoke regularly, have cancer, are alcoholics or suffer from uncontrolled gum disease may also be prohibited from receiving a dental implant.
In all instances, it is best to be professionally evaluated by a dentist to determine whether or not dental implants are right for you. If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, consult with a dentist such as Thomas E Rider, DDS and Allison S Reese, DDS.