Though the technology has been around for over 50 years, it’s only been recently that dental implants have become the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. There’s no other replacement method that comes closer to providing the same interaction as natural teeth in both strength and appearance. With modern techniques, dental implants now enjoy a high level of success.
Despite the advantages of this tooth replacement strategy, you may not be aware of the reasons that make dental implants such an effective alternative to other methods, such as dentures and dental bridges. Implant systems have a tremendous range of versatility and remain the most biologically sound replacement method. Today, we discuss some basics that you might not know about dental implants.
Implants and osseointegration
One reason that dentures are an imperfect solution for replacing natural teeth is that they sit over the gums. Over time, without tooth roots in the bone of the jaw, you lose bone mass and shape, so a denture plate that once fit perfectly no longer matches the contours of your gums and jaws.
Dental implants start with a base that’s much like the root of your tooth. Inserted directly into the bone of your jaw, the implant base actually fuses with the bone, a process called osseointegration. This is one of the reasons why successful dental implants have such strength. Like natural teeth, they anchor solidly in the bone of your jaw. This interaction between implant and bone prevents the loss of bone tissue over time.
The versatility of implants
Because a single implant is so similar in structure to a natural tooth, it’s easy to think of an implant as a one-to-one procedure. If you’re missing three teeth, you may think that you require three implants. However, that isn't the case, since we can place more than one crown on a single implant.
In fact, a common implant method uses a pair of implants to support a bridge of three or more adjacent crowns, so there isn't necessarily a need to have an implant “root” for every tooth you need to be replaced.
Although many implant procedures result in permanent teeth replacement, dental implants can also serve as a base for dentures. Instead of denture plates being held in by friction or adhesives, they can also snap on to specially made implant posts. Though still removable, the denture plates stay secure. There’s also no longer the need for denture plates that cover the roof of your mouth.
Pain-free dental procedure
With what’s involved with a dental implant, you may be concerned about enduring the procedure and recovery. However, implants are typically no more painful than other common procedures, such as fillings or root canal therapy. Modern painless dentistry procedures handle any pain associated with implants.
Contemporary dental imaging technology permits precise placement of implants, so there is minimal impact on surrounding tissue. Though in many cases there a recovery period lasting six weeks or longer, this allows for the osseointegration process, where bone and implant form a solid base. There’s no pain or discomfort associated with this phase of recovery.
Dental surgery is not required
Although dental implants may sound like cutting-edge technology, it’s becoming quite commonplace. There’s no need to see a dental surgeon. Many regular dentists are trained and up-to-date on dental implant procedures.
The team of experts at Modern Age Dentistry are implant specialists, able to assess and plan a successful dental implant strategy for you. Call the office today, or click to request an appointment online.