The Anatomy of a Dental Implant
Patients that have lost their adult teeth are often faced with several different options for their replacement. One of the most frequently suggested options is a dental implant. Dental implants are surgically implanted into the bone that underlies the gums. This approach offers improved stability and an improved quality of life. Implants are also generally hassle-free, and you can treat them almost completely like your natural teeth.
While many patients have heard about dental implants, they don’t truly know what they are. If you are considering a dental implant, it is important to know just what you should expect.
Dental implants are composed of three traditional parts. The first is called the post. A post is a small piece of titanium that looks like a screw. Titanium is used for this part because it is naturally compatible with your body and the body is likely to accept the implant rather than fight to reject it. Rejection of objects in your body can often result in infections, pain, swelling, and additional complications. To make sure that the titanium implant is accepted to the body, it is also coated with a special treatment that helps to promote bone growth.
The small titanium post is inserted into the bone that underlies your gums. As the body builds up the bone around the post, you can feel confident that your implant won’t be falling out or becoming loose in the future.
The post is not visible after the completion of the implant. Some dentists may want you to wait until the post has healed in place before placing your final implant, while other dentists are offering single-visit implants, where you will leave the office with your completed implant. Talk to our dentist to see what you should expect.
The tooth abutment is attached to the post after healing has occurred. The abutment can be visible before the placement of the implant and is designed to stick above the gumline. The abutment is used to attach the tooth restoration to the post and keep it securely in place. Abutment shape and size depends on the type of tooth restoration that our dentist is using.
The Tooth Restoration
The tooth restoration is the part of the implant that looks just like your natural tooth. Implants can be made of several different materials. The composition of your restoration will depend largely on the position in your mouth and the type of tooth that it is replacing. Restorations are usually made of porcelain. Porcelain offers a strong surface that also mimics the appearance of natural teeth. In addition, your tooth restoration will be dyed to closely match your existing teeth. This step helps to keep your implant hidden in your mouth, and many people won’t even know that it isn’t your natural tooth.
Additional steps are also taken to mimic the natural appearance of your tooth. These steps often mimic the contours of your surrounding teeth. Our dentist will also take several measurements to ensure that the implant is the same height as your other teeth and doesn’t negatively impact your bite pattern.
Dental implants should also be fitted between the adjacent teeth without any gaps or placing pressure onto the surrounding teeth.
Patients who require a solution to replace missing or damaged teeth often find that dental implants offer the best solution to fit their lives. An implant helps to keep the bone of the jaw intact and can help to strengthen the mouth. Additionally, dental implants are designed to be treated much like your natural teeth, so learning a new routine isn’t necessary.
If you are considering dental implants, contact us and schedule an appointment to talk with our dentist today.