In the realm of dentistry, several solutions exist for replacing missing or damaged teeth, one of which is dental implants. Acting as a comprehensive replacement for a natural tooth, dental implants have revolutionized dentistry, making it possible to replace a single tooth or all teeth. This article will delve into what dental implants are, how they work, and their components.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, similar in shape to screws. When Dental implants are placed in your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone, creating a sturdy base to support one or more artificial teeth, called crowns. An abutment — a connector placed on top of the dental implant — holds these crowns.
Implants offer a strong and stable foundation that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. They have been used for several decades and can be an ideal solution for anyone who has lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, or any other reason.
How Do Dental Implant Work?
Dental implants are designed to mimic the structure and function of a natural tooth. The implant itself, usually made of titanium, is inserted into the jawbone and serves as a root for the missing tooth. Because of titanium’s unique ability to fuse with bone — a process called osseointegration — the implant provides stable support for the artificial tooth and won’t slip or shift in the mouth.
Once the implant has bonded with the jawbone, the abutment is mounted onto the implant. The abutment serves as a bridge between the implant and the replacement tooth (crown). Finally, a crown is attached to the abutment, giving the appearance and functionality of a natural tooth.
Components of Dental Implant
A dental implant restoration is typically composed of three parts:
- Implant: A screw that serves as a root for your new tooth. This is what permanently attaches to your jaw.
- Abutment: A connector that can be removed by your doctor, it is attached to the implant and supports the crown.
- Crown (prosthesis): This part of the implant is made of zirconium or porcelain for durability and good looks. It’s attached to the abutment and gives the appearance of a natural tooth.
Dental implants are a popular and effective long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth, failing teeth or chronic dental problems. They fit, feel and function like natural teeth and are widely regarded as the next best thing to real teeth. They offer benefits that other tooth replacement options, like dentures or bridges, simply can’t, such as preventing bone loss in the jaw and not affecting healthy adjacent teeth. It’s important to consult with your dental professional to understand if dental implants are the right choice for you. In the next article, we will discuss the various Types of Dental implants that are available.