The first thing you need to know about dental implants is what they are. A dental implant is an appliance which gets attached to your jaw below the gum line. It actually fuses with your jaw bone over a period of time, providing a kind of anchor for your dentist to insert a metal post which will then act as the root for an artificial tooth, or perhaps a bridge. Dental implants are a very good alternative to standard dentures, and they provide a more stable solution for a missing tooth or teeth than do standard dentures.
Why choose implants over dentures?
As mentioned above, implants provide a more stable solution for a missing tooth than dentures do, because they are actually anchored right into your jawbone. This means they will not slip or slide while you’re eating, so you can literally eat any type of food you want to. It also means you won’t have any problem with slipping dentures while you’re speaking, so you’ll have peace of mind from knowing that your dentures are not going to interfere with speech.
There’s also the matter of aesthetics, because a dental implant will look and feel just like your normal teeth do, whereas dentures are obviously not part of your original teeth, and they don’t have the same natural appearance. One last advantage that implants have over dentures is that they can be brushed and flossed just like your normal teeth, and don’t require any special procedure like removing your dentures and having them cleaned.
Composition of dental implants
The actual implant is generally made from titanium, because this material fuses very well to the jawbone. The post or abutment which holds a new artificial tooth in place is also generally made from titanium, although in some cases ceramic is also selected. The artificial tooth or crown can be made of several different materials, depending on the location of the missing tooth.
If you have a missing tooth in front, the artificial tooth will generally be made of ceramic or porcelain, since these are closest to the natural look of your teeth. If your missing tooth is toward the back of your mouth, for instance a molar, your dentist might recommend using some kind of a metal crown, since metal can be extremely durable, and is unlikely to be damaged with normal usage.
How long does an implant take to perform?
In most cases, it takes several months from beginning to end, in order to fully implement a dental implant. The biggest reason for this time requirement is that it takes several months for the titanium implant to fuse naturally with your jawbone. Once the implant is in place, it actually takes a number of months for the healing process to fully occur.
When your dentist has determined that the titanium implant has fully fused with your jawbone, the rest of the process can happen fairly quickly. Impressions will be taken of your mouth, and a crown will be prepared at a laboratory, so that it can be installed in your mouth. After this, your dentist will ensure that it’s a good fit, and make any adjustments which are necessary to provide you with a normal bite and good compatibility with the surrounding teeth.
All-on-4 dental implants
If you’ve lost all your teeth for some reason, and you would rather not have dentures installed, there’s a very good alternative you can take advantage of at Hanson Dental. The relatively new all-on-4 dental implant process can completely replace all the teeth on either your upper or lower jaw, just by installing four implants as opposed to the 10 or more which might normally be required. We also offer same-day crowns for those patients who have a need to expedite the replacement of a tooth, perhaps to attend an important event. In any case, these are two options of modern dentistry which we can provide for our customers, so please do ask us about them.
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