All About Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. If you still have questions about dental implants after reading this information, feel free to schedule an informative examination with one of our periodontists.

Advantages of Dental Implants

A dental implant provides several advantages over other tooth replacement options.

Dental Implants Maintain the Integrity of Your Remaining Teeth

In addition to looking and functioning like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth, unlike other tooth replacement options such as bridges. A bridge is a tooth-supported, fixed appliance that requires the adjacent teeth to be ground down, regardless of how healthy they are, for the bridge to fit. When replacing multiple teeth, bridges and partial dentures rely on support from adjacent teeth, while implants and implant-supported bridges do not.

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They Also Maintain Bone Health

Because a dental implant will replace your tooth root, your jawbone is better preserved. Implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep your bone healthy and intact. With a bridge or denture, some of the bone that previously surrounded the tooth starts to deteriorate.

Implant Placement Is Easy and Quick

First, the dental implant, which looks just like a short screw, is placed into your jaw. Over the next few months, the implant and bone are then allowed to bond together to form an anchor for your artificial tooth or teeth. During this time, a temporary tooth replacement option can be worn.

Sometimes a second procedure is required to place an extension on the implant. This small metal post, called an abutment, completes the foundation on which your new tooth will be placed.

The replacement tooth will then be created by your general dentist and attached to the abutment.

Long Term Benefits of Dental Implants

In the long run, dental implants are aesthetic, functional, and comfortable. If you are considering a bridge, keep in mind that gums and bone can recede around a bridge or denture which leaves a visible defect, deteriorated bone from bridges and dentures can lead to a collapsed and unattractive smile, and cement holding bridges in place can wash out, allowing bacteria to decay the teeth that are anchoring the bridge.

Finally, removable dentures can move around in your mouth, reducing your ability to eat and talk. This is why bridges and dentures do not last very long, whereas dental implants can last for the rest of your life with proper oral care at home (brushing and flossing) and by maintaining your regular cleaning and check-ups.

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

The American Academy of Periodontology Patient Page is a public service of the AAP and should not be used as a substitute for the care and advice of your personal periodontist after a thorough exam. There may be variations in treatment that your periodontist will recommend based on individual facts and circumstances per patient. Visit perio.org to assess your risk and for more information on periodontal disease.
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