If you have one or more teeth missing teeth, your dentist may have already spoken to you about the installation of dental implants. A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth that replaces the crown and root of a lost tooth.
The root of the lost tooth is replaced when the implant rod or screw is surgically implanted into the jawbone. During the installation, the metal screw or rod is drilled into bone. The metal, which is usually titanium, is biocompatible, so it is unlikely to incite an immunological response from the patient.
Over a period of several months, the implant actually fuses with the jawbone of the patient. This fusion causes the appliance to become secure within the bone. After the implant wound has properly healed, a connector is installed. Subsequently, a dental crown is added to complete the dental restoration.
If you have a dental implant placed to restore a lost tooth, you will enjoy several benefits. Here are a few of them:
Once a dental implant has been properly installed, the device can help prevent other teeth from wandering from their proper position. This wandering or migration can easily occur when a gap is left in the patient's mouth. The gap allows enough room for teeth that were once held in place by the missing tooth to gradually shift from their current position.
When a misalignment does occur due to dental shifting, braces or other orthodontic devices may be needed. Still, if the lost tooth is not replaced after the employment of an orthodontic appliance, enough space may remain in the mouth for shifting to recur.
The jawbone receives consistent stimulation from the chewing activities of a patient. Each time a patient chews or bites, the bite force is transferred from the tooth to the bone. This transference of force encourages the bone to produce new cells. However, when no stimulation is available, the bone begins to atrophy. This can eventually result in tooth loss, since the bone may not be dense enough to hold remaining natural teeth firmly in their sockets. In addition, the appearance of the face can suffer without enough jawbone present to support the outer soft tissues. A dental implant transfers bite pressure just as a natural tooth does.
To learn more ways that dental implants can benefit you, schedule a consultation with a local dentist. He or she can also advise if you are a good candidate for an implant.