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How Dental Implant Surgery Replaces Tooth Roots
Considering replacing that missing tooth (or teeth) with a dental implant? These helpful artificial teeth are widely considered the most effective and long-lasting of all tooth replacement methods. In fact, dental implants are the only artificial teeth that fully replace tooth roots.
However, since implants act as your new tooth without much maintenance, they do tend to be more pricey. There are a few things you will need to know about your implant before your consultation and before settling on a cheaper, less effective option.
The parts of a dental implant
Many have the preconceived notion that dental implants are all one cohesive piece. One of the reasons implants are so successful is the fact that they are comprised of three separate parts. Think about it this way: If your car was made from one piece, it would be much more expensive to replace the whole car than the single part that failed.
For dental implants, there are three separate parts that make up the whole device. The part that acts as the top of the tooth is the restoration, usually a crown. The crown is connected to the faux tooth root by a peg known as an abutment. Finally, below the abutment lies the titanium post. This post is a screw-like metal rod that replaces the tooth root.
During a dental implant procedure, the titanium post is surgically inserted into the space in the jawbone left by the missing tooth. Titanium is a unique metal that has the ability to completely fuse with living jawbone. Instead of the jawbone continuing to deteriorate when a tooth is lost, implants actually build the bone back up. In this way, a dental implant completely replaces tooth roots in functionality.
Other teeth replacement methods like dentures do not utilize the jawbone. Jaw density is lost over time when it is not used. Instead of allowing your jawbone to grow weaker with partial dentures or a bridge, you can make it stronger with a dental implant.
Implants not only save the jawbone but also the rest of your teeth. The longer a space from a missing tooth is left alone, the bigger the chance that your other teeth will begin to close in on that space to fill the gap. Bite problems can begin to arise when this happens. Without a dental implant, a domino effect can start to affect the rest of your teeth. Teeth can become loose, and in advanced cases, further tooth loss can occur.
Dental implants have a very high success rate. However, there is always a risk of breakage. Thankfully, it is usually only the crown that breaks. This part of the implant can be easily replaced without having to redo the entire implant.
Dental implants can last a lifetime when properly cared for. Maintenance is low, although you will want to brush them like your natural teeth. They are resistant to cavities but bacteria can still cause gum disease. Treat your implant like you would a natural tooth, and you can have a lasting dental device that fully replaces your tooth and its roots.
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