Dental implants are an extremely popular way to replace a missing tooth or teeth. They are incredibly long-lasting, durable, and functional. Even better, they look and feel exactly like a natural tooth.
However, the benefits of a dental implant stretch far beyond how they look. Thanks to their structure, implants can actually improve your health in ways that a bridge or traditional dentures can’t.
What’s Different About the Way a Dental Implant is Built?
Many other forms of tooth replacement, such as bridges and full or partial dentures, replace only the biting surface of the tooth. This heals your smile, realigns your bite, and allows you to once again chew and speak clearly, but they don’t replace the entire tooth.
Dental implants do! They consist of three parts: the implant post, the abutment, and the crown.
The Implant Post | Implant posts—usually made out of medical titanium—act as a replacement for the root of the tooth. They are placed directly into the jawbone. As the jaw heals up, the post and the bone go through a process called osseointegration. This is the same thing that happens in a broken bone with pins.
During osseointegration, the bone fuses to the rod or pin, making it structurally sound and able to bear whatever load it needs to support. In the case of a dental implant, that load is the wear and tear of a fully-functional tooth.
The Abutment | After osseointegration is complete, the rest of the dental implant needs to be placed. A crown is attached to the titanium post by means of an abutment or connector piece.
The Crown | When an implant post is healed, a custom-crafted, completely unique dental crown is attached to restore the visible part of your tooth, including the biting surface. This is the portion that generally gets replaced with a bridge or denture set in traditional tooth restoration. While supported by an implant post, however, the entire structure is stronger and much longer-lasting.
That implant root is what makes all the difference in a dental implant. Instead of replacing a small portion of the tooth, we can create a complete and fully-functional replacement, all the way from root to crown.
How Osseointegration Keeps You Stronger and Healthier
Whenever a tooth goes missing, the jawbone around that area stops receiving the necessary stimulation to keep it strong. After a while, it will begin to break down. This recession weakens the jaw, and causes a sunken look to the face.
When the implant post fuses with the bone of your jaw, it provides the means for preventing bone recession. Every time you chew with your new synthetic tooth, the root stimulates the bone it is fused to, keeping your entire jaw healthier.
This is truly what sets dental implants apart from other dental restoration techniques.
Come See Us About Dental Implant Options
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, dental implants may just be the right choice for you. Ask us any questions you have about this full-tooth replacement option.