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What Are Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

by Dr. Sara Fam on 24/10/2022

If you stumbled upon this article, chances are your dentist might have suggested dental implants as part of rejuvenating your oral health. There are many misconceptions surrounding the concept of dental implants, and understanding what they are and how they work is part of the entire process.

Dental implants are what we consider to be “major” dental work, but they also cooperate with other treatments, such as following a tooth extraction.

It might be time to get your dental affairs in order and make room, literally and colloquially, for your new dental implants. However, in order to do so, you need clarity and guidance regarding the treatment process. Here’s everything you need to know about dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants – What Are They?

Whenever we think about implants or implanting something, we have an image of a foreign and artificial element entering our body in place of the real deal. And quite frankly, that is kind of how dental implants work. Did you know that over 156 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Losing a tooth might have social and aesthetic consequences, especially if visible, but not many regards this as a health concern. Unfortunately, it primarily should be treated as such. Tooth loss that is not addressed is not merely a cosmetic issue – it creates a waterfall of subsequent oral problems that relate to bite and bone loss, among other conditions.

Dental implants are not artificial teeth, as many mistakenly believe. Dental implants are tiny screws that imitate your natural root. Those screws fuse with the bone, hold the tooth crown in place, and prevent other oral issues from emerging.

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

The metal post that is inserted into your jawbone is the dental prosthetic we call the implant. While there are many options available, the most commonly used material for dental implants is titanium or titanium alloy – the blend of two metals. Titanium is a safe, durable, and very effective choice that has been extensively studied throughout the years. Some of the risks associated with using titanium are hypersensitivity to the metal, which might result in specific side effects that you and your dentist should discuss prior to undergoing the treatment.

Another material used for dental implants is Zirconia, which is mostly used for patients who are allergic to titanium.

Is the Dental Crown Part of the Equation?

The dental crown is an integral part of dental implant treatment. We might even consider it to be the upper element of dental implants since it is the artificial tooth inserted into the metal posts in place of the previously lost or extracted natural tooth. Dental crowns have come a long way since they were first introduced. Dentistry is an art, and dental prosthetics are its masterpieces carefully crafted to beautify your smile. Today’s dental crowns are mostly made of porcelain that imitates and fits your natural dentition.

The Types of Dental Implants

Dental implants can be manipulated in a way that you require or can budget for, such as if you need only one single tooth replaced or have several missing teeth that need support. You can opt for an entire arch if that is what your oral health demands.

In the case of dental implants, the more support you can provide in your jaw, the better. Traditional dental implants are placed permanently, but there are removable options as well.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The beauty of getting metal posts inserted into your jawbone is that they are intended to last a lifetime. The tooth crown typically requires replacement after 10 to 15 years, but the artificial root is there to stay.

What Happens When You Lose a Tooth & Don’t Address It?

Losing a tooth due to injury or disease has a tremendous impact on our psychological well-being and general health. When our teeth are in a less-than-desirable condition, our self-esteem suffers in a way that might affect how we communicate with others, even leading to social isolation. It can certainly disturb our professional life as well. However, besides the aesthetic benefits of a beautiful smile, full and dazzling dentition also improves our oral and general health.

So, what are the consequences of having gaps in your mouth?

Surrounding Teeth Shifting

Your existing teeth will want to naturally fill the gaps where the teeth are missing, which leads to serious misalignments. The shifting, besides cosmetic problems, will result in bite and chewing disorders.

Jawbone Disintegration

Your teeth strongly influence the growth of your jawbone. If you lose a tooth and do not address the issue, the bone will deteriorate and weaken, which will have an impact on your healthy teeth – some may become loose or entirely dislodged.

Facial Appearance Changes

Your entire facial structure is affected by the position of your teeth and the strength of your jaw. Your teeth are responsible for balance, such as the correct distance between your chin and nose. The “facial collapse” is easily noticeable in people who wear dentures – taking them out immediately adds years and dramatically impacts appearance.

Receding Gum & Periodontitis

Because your jawbone’s health is influenced by a full smile, when your teeth are missing, your jawbone’s deterioration may lead to gum recession. When that happens, your oral health is at risk, and chances of periodontal disease set in.

General Health Concerns

Your body is an integrated system, and your oral health is part of it. When you develop gum disease (periodontitis) due to missing teeth, you are at an increased risk for several health conditions, such as hypertension, cancer, cardiac disorders, stroke, or even dementia.

Dental Implants at Oxboro Family Dental

It’s time to take control of your oral health to prevent serious health problems. At Oxboro Family Dental, we take your well-being seriously with a holistic and preventative approach. Dental implants are a remarkable medical advancement that changes lives one smile at a time, and that is precisely what you deserve – a healthy, dazzling smile. Don’t hesitate any longer to get the treatment you need!