Despite improvements in dentistry and efforts to educate Americans about the benefits of home care, tooth loss is a still an issue that plagues millions. Tooth loss most often occurs from tooth decay, gingivitis or injury. For many years, the only treatment options for missing teeth were bridges and dentures but in this day and age dental implants are available.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are basically replaceable tooth roots, which provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth which are fabricated to look like your natural teeth.
There are several advantages to dental implants. First, implants will improve your smile because they look and feel like your own teeth. They are designed to fuse with bone, therefore they are permanent. Additionally, dental implants can be helpful to those with speech impediments caused by poor fitting dentures. Dental implants give patients the confidence that their teeth will not slip when speaking.
Implants are also much more comfortable than dentures and make simple tasks like eating food much easier and pain free.
Dental implants have a success rate of around 98% and with proper care they can last a lifetime. Smokers and individuals who have undergone radiation therapy are worked with on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they are eligible for dental implants.
What is the Procedure?
The most widely practiced method of placing dental implants is a three staged surgery. The first stage consists of surgically burying the implant flush with the bone beneath the gum. After this aspect has healed the surgeon will check the implant for its successful integration to the bone and connects a post which penetrates the gum into the mouth.
The gum is then allowed some time to heal and the final stage is set underway by placing the prosthetic tooth or teeth to the abutment or post.