What are Dental Implants?

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Simply put, dental implants are surgically placed metal posts below your gumline that attach to your jawbone and hold a false tooth, or a crown, in place permanently. Depending on where they are placed and how many teeth are missing, a dental implant can help replace one missing tooth and ensure jawbone health or dental implants can hold bridges and dentures in place more securely than older methods. Dental implants offer people with missing teeth the opportunity to keep their jawbones healthy, to fill in gaps between teeth and the confidence that accompanies a complete, shiny smile.

How do Dental Implants Work?

Implants are placed below your gumline and graft to your jawbone mimicking the natural root structure of a tooth. The implanted post provides sturdy and long term support for replacement teeth- whether it is a single tooth or even dentures. The confidence to eat and speak without worrying about your teeth slipping or shifting is part of the results that come from dental implants. When you are confident that your teeth are securely in place, then your implant will grow to feel more natural as compared to conventional bridges or dentures. When you do not need to worry about a gap in your smile or making sure you remembered extra denture adhesive, you can conduct yourself with more ease and less worry. An investment in a dental implant is an investment in yourself and adds to your self worth.

When reviewing treatment plans for missing teeth in the past, some people were not candidates for ordinary bridges or dentures. Those people were left to adjust to a mouth with less teeth. Now, for those people, sore spots caused by pressure from dentures on the gums, poor ridges unable to support dentures and gagging from the length of the denture piece no longer exclude them from being considered for dental implants to secure their dentures. Traditional bridges are replacement teeth attached to the teeth on either side of the empty space. In order for the traditional bridges to fit into the gap, the teeth on either side needed to be prepared which includes filing and compromising the enamel layer on the teeth. Dental implants rely on different means of securing the tooth into place, so the teeth on either side do not need to be ground down to ensure a tight fit for your new tooth. Your replacement tooth can improve the overall health of your mouth without jeopardizing the enamel or health of other teeth.

When you and your dentist are discussing the option of dental implants, your dentist must determine if you are healthy enough to support the implant. The surgical aspect of the dental implant requires you to be free from infection and the dental implant needs enough jawbone to graft to in order to ensure it is secure. Finally, your gums must be healthy enough to be operated on and heal from the procedures. The dentist will not want to waste your time or risk your health for an implant that your body may reject. After the dentist completes the implant procedure and then the crown placement, you need to maintain healthy habits at home. Dental implants require the commitment on your part to partake in twice daily brushing and flossing. If you want to ensure that your dental implant stays healthy and strong for years to come, then regular dental appointments are also part of your commitment.

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