The art of cosmetic dentistry is able to accomplish great things and improve your smile like you never thought possible. One of the ways that this can be done is by filling in gaps and replacing missing teeth. It doesn’t matter if these teeth were pulled, lost to cavities, or knocked out in a sporting event, their replacement can always be done. One way to perform the replacement of these teeth is through the use of a dental implant.
What is an Implant?
Like you might expect, an implant is a procedure in which a fake tooth is inserted into the spot of a tooth that was either lost or knocked out. This is done by affixing the root of the implant directly to the jaw bone of the patient, which ensures that it will be secure in the mouth. Many times, an implant is the best alternative to go with when the patient only has one or a few missing teeth.
What are the Alternatives to Implants?
There are a few alternatives to getting implants, none of which require the amount of surgical time that the implants do. The first is just getting dentures. Dentures are often used if there are several teeth missing. While dentures are an easy fix to missing teeth, they are not the best solution due to the maintenance they require, as well as the temporary nature that they have.
Another alternative to these implants is the use of an anchored tooth, usually referred to as a bridge. This is a fake porcelain tooth that is attached to wires or a different form of attaching agent. These wires are then attached directly to the adjacent teeth, anchoring the fake tooth in the gap. This does not require the intensive work on the front end that implants do, but they are also less permanent are more prone to breakage.
What is an Implant Made Of?
It usually depends on the type of implant, but most of them have three parts. The tooth portion of the implant, called the crown, is generally made of a porcelain and is fashioned to look like a real tooth. This is often dyed to the color of your other teeth. There is then an abutment, which is the portion that sticks out of the gums and holds the crown. All of this is attached to a piece of titanium, which is fused directly into the jaw bone.
What Can I Expect to Have to Be Done to Get an Implant?
Getting an implant does require several steps in order to have it done. After initial x-rays and consultations, you will have to have the titanium piece surgically fused to your jaw bone. After this is done, there will be more consultations, and the dentist will take impressions of your teeth in order to ensure the bite and size of the crown. After the crown is built, it will be attached to the titanium piece. You will then have your implant done and will need to check in periodically with your implant team.
Getting an implant may not be the most fun way to help restore your smile, but it is the most permanent.