A dental implant can be used to permanently replace a missing tooth. The metal implant screw or rod is drilled into the jawbone and becomes anchored there through a process called osseointegration in which the metal implant and the bone of the jaw connect or fuse. Here are a few benefits enjoyed by patients who receive dental implants:
A Youthful Appearance
When a dental implant is placed in the jawbone, the bone still receives enough bite pressure to avoid atrophy. The pressure stimulates the jawbone to encourage new bone cells to be regularly produced. The preservation of jawbone density helps the jaw and face not to take on a sunken, aged appearance due to the lack of underlying support for the soft tissues of the face. With other tooth replacement options, such as dentures, the face may begin to look worn as no bite pressure is transferred to the jawbone for stimulation.
A dental implant should last throughout the patient's lifetime. If a crown or bridge that covers a dental implant becomes damaged, the crown or bridge may need to be replaced or repaired. However, the implant should remain secure within the bone.
Since a dental implant replaces the root of a missing tooth and may be covered by a tooth-colored crown, a dental implant is difficult to discern from a natural tooth.
After the implant's installation, the gums around the implant may be contoured to ensure that the gum line of the patient remains natural-looking. In addition, porcelain or porcelain-over-metal crowns can be used to restore the crown of the missing tooth. Since porcelain is a translucent, white material that looks like tooth enamel, once the dental crown is in place, the implant restoration will not be noticeable.
A dental implant is easy to maintain. In fact, there are no special requirements for maintaining the device. You would simply need to brush and floss regularly as you would for your natural teeth.
Dental implants that are not regularly cleaned can develop calculus or tartar deposits like natural teeth. This accumulation of these substances around the gum line can still cause periodontal disease. Thus, regular dental hygiene efforts still need to be observed.
To learn more about dental implants and their benefits, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area, such as those at Health Centered Dentistry. He or she will be able to advise you of whether or not you are a good candidate for an implant procedure.