What Are Dental Implants?
To understand dental implants, you must first understand the anatomy of your teeth.
Your tooth consists of two parts:
The crown is the part you think of as your tooth. The white exterior tooth responsible for tearing into your food.
The root holds that crown in place. When you replace a missing tooth, you have to replace both parts.
Replacing the Root
Of the two components, the root is actually the most important part. Losing the root means losing your gums. It also means losing part of your jawbone.
Without a root, a replacement crown would have nowhere to go.
Thus, a dental implant requires us to insert a titanium post that will serve as a new root. Titanium is perfect for the job. It’s strong, biologically inert, and time-honored (surgeons have used titanium for replacement joints for decades). Given time, your jawbone will accept the new root and grow around it in a process called osseointegration. At that point, it’s time to replace the crown.
Replacing the Crown
Here, we’ll affix a crown to the new root. This is similar to any other crown procedure that we might use to correct a broken or misshapen tooth, except that we’re affixing the crown to an abutment on the titanium root instead of to the remains of your natural teeth, as we would with a simple crown procedure.
The crown looks exactly like a real tooth. Few people can tell the difference just by looking. In fact, it will even feel like your tooth has been fully restored.
Scheduling a Tooth Replacement
Dental implants are an ideal tooth replacement procedure.
They are a stable, permanent alternative to dentures or bridges. They do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. They also last a lifetime so long as you take care of them. It’s like gaining a second chance to keep all of your teeth!