A Dental Implant (also known as an endosseous implant or fixture) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor. The basis for modern dental implants is a biologic process called osseointegration where materials, such as titanium, form an intimate bond to bone. The implant fixture is first placed, so that it is likely to osseointegrate, then a dental prosthetic is added. A variable amount of healing time is required for osseointegration before either the dental prosthetic (a tooth, bridge or denture) is attached to the implant or an abutment is placed which will hold a dental prosthetic.
The dental implant, typically made of titanium, is a safe and proven effective replacement for the tooth root – the very foundation of a natural tooth. Because it is placed in the jawbone and fuses, or integrates with, your natural bone, the dental implant forms the stable and sturdy base for your replacement teeth.
Various Types of Dental Implants are available, including:-
- Endosteal implants are placed in the jawbone. Typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, they are the most commonly used type of implant.
- Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone. This type of implant may be used in patients who have a shallow jawbone and cannot or do not want to undergo a procedure to rebuild it.
Dental implants also come in different sizes and heights, including standard and narrow (mini). Your dental implant expert is trained to help you determine what option is right for you depending on the tooth or teeth that need to be replaced.
Benefits of Dental Implants:-
- Next best thing to healthy, natural teeth. Strong and stable, a dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth. Other options can lead to bone deterioration, and may interfere with eating, smiling, speaking and other activities of everyday life.
- Built to last. Dental implants are a long-term solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years, but at some point they may need to be replaced. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for over time.
- Enjoy life without worrying about your teeth! No need to stay home or feel uncomfortable in public, embarrassed because your smile looks different, or worrying that missing teeth will limit your ability to join in the fun or that removable dentures or tooth-supported replacement teeth will loosen or fall out when you talk, eat or laugh. Teeth restored with dental implants are teeth that let you, not your teeth, lead your life.
- Retain your natural face shape, and smile. A face without teeth can sag and appear sunken and sad. Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.
- Protect healthy bone. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to additional health issues, such as the loss and deterioration of some of your jawbone. When it is not being used to support a natural tooth, the jawbone deteriorates, losing its strength and firmness. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss
- Speak easy. Adjusting to removable dentures can mean struggling to pronounce everyday words. Not so with dental implants, which function like natural teeth.