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What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the closest replacement of your missing tooth or teeth. They are artificial teeth made of safe materials (usually titanium), that are inserted into your bone in a screw-like fashion, with a nice, realistic replica of your tooth on top.
Overview on Dental Implants
Dental implant treatment consists of 2 phases: A surgical and restorative phase.
In the surgical phase, dental implants (screw-like posts) are surgically placed in your jawbone, where they serve as the roots of missing teeth. The implants fuse with your jawbone over a healing period (3~ 6 months). After the healing period the implants are ready for the restorative phase.
In the restorative phase, the healing of implants are verified. Then the artificial tooth/teeth and the supporting parts are made and attached to the implants to restore the missing tooth/teeth’s look and function, much like original teeth.
Why Dental Implants?
Benefits and advantages of dental implants include the following:
- Dental Implants behave like natural teeth
- Dental Implants can last a lifetime
- Dental Implants prevent bone loss
- Dental Implants keep adjacent teeth stable
- Dental Implants can help prevent facial sagging and premature aging
Implant crowns or single-tooth implants can be used in people who are missing one or more teeth. They consists of three parts; implant, abutment and crown. The implant, made of titanium, replaces the missing root. The crown is the restoration made of porcelain. The abutment connects the implant to the crown.
Implant bridge or implant-supported bridge is used when more than one tooth is missing. An implant-supported bridge is similar to a regular dental bridge, but it is supported by implants and not by natural teeth. The crowns of each missing tooth are connected to each other to form one piece. Where chewing pressure is not severe, not all crowns have to be supported by implants. For example, three missing teeth can be restored with just two implants and a bridge.
It also may be used when your dentist is concerned that you might put too much pressure on individual implants that are not connected to each other. In such cases, one implant is placed in the jawbone for each missing tooth.