What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a surgically positioned titanium post. The implant is placed beneath the gum line and into the jawbone. This enables the dentist to attach a bridge or teeth. The implant does not come loose, is not anchored to other teeth and promotes better oral health. Good candidates for dental implants must have enough bone to properly support the implant and healthy gums. A bone graft is often necessary if the bone is too soft or too thin. Teeth replacement has been revolutionized by dental implants. Prior to these implants, many individuals were unable to chew specific foods.
Once dental implants were offered within the United States, the market grew in epic proportions. The United States dental implant market is now worth approximately $9.1 billion. The dental implant is classified as a titanium screw fused to the jawbone. This process is called osseointegration and begins when an abutment is connected to the implant to support the crown. Dental implants can do a lot more than dentures and bridges. This is because the jawbone is partially preserved due to the dental implant which is similar to real teeth. Dentures and bridges can actual damage the remaining teeth. Good structure from the tooth must be removed for fixed bridges and other teeth are necessary to keep partial dentures from slipping. When an individual chews wearing partial dentures, they severely weaken their teeth.
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, a bridge has an average lifetime of five to ten years. The teeth that support partial dentures or bridges fail thirty percent of the time. Full dentures slip and restrict what the wearer is able to eat. Replacing a tooth with an implant does not damage the teeth and provides the jawbone with stability. Dental implants have a 97 percent long term success rate. They do not have the issues of other replacement methods and people can eat the foods they choose with confidence. One missing tooth can be replaced with one implant. All the lower or upper teeth can be replaced with a minimum of four implants. The exact number of dental implants necessary is dependent on the size and quality of the jawbone. Less longer implants are required for the support of replacement teeth.
The implant process begins when a slit is made in the gum where the missing tooth was located. The bone is prepared with drills of various sizes prior to screwing the implant into the bone and stitching the gums closed. This procedure is painless due to the use of sedation or local anesthesia. The healing process requires several months before the dentist can place the teeth. In some cases, the individual is able to use the implant in the same way as a tooth. The dental implants are surgically placed by an oral surgeon. The teeth are made by a restorative dentist. Dental implants are suitable for all ages with the exception of growing children. Bone grafts can make dental implants possible for individuals who have lost bone due to gum disease.