Dental implant, also known as fixture or Endosseous implant, is one of the many technological marvels of dental science. These implants are artificial replacements for the tooth root in order to support a replacement tooth or bridge over it. In recent years, dental implants have revolutionized the dental care industry and have secured a place as an affordable dental care option. They may be used to replace a loose denture, a single missing tooth, or a complete functional set. Dental implants offer long-lasting, non-mobile, natural-looking solution to the problem of missing teeth. Dentists often prefer dental implants over bridges and dentures because they are planted into the jaw and they function just like natural teeth.
How do dental implants work?
In a dental implant, dentists insert a small rod of titanium implant into the jaw bone. Titanium is used since it is the element most biocompatible with the human body. Once the implant is in place, the natural process of Osseointegration begins. In this process, the titanium rod fuses with the jawbone over a period of 2 to 6 months. After Osseointegration, a small connector ‘abutment’ is placed on top of the implant to connect it to a replacement tooth. The replacement tooth or teeth are then attached to the abutment.
Patients who are uncomfortable with metallic implants can also opt for ceramic dental implants!
What are the benefits of implants?
- Dental implants are aesthetically pleasing, feel like your own teeth, and prevent bone and gum tissue loss.
- Dental implants neither decay nor require root canals.
- Dental implants eliminate the pain and discomfort of removable dentures. Unlike dentures, the implants are anchored firmly to the jawbone eliminating gum irritation.
- Unlike a fixed bridge, dental implants do not hamper the quality of adjacent teeth. Hence, dental implants improve oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access in the area between teeth, thereby improving oral hygiene.
- Dental implants improve your speech and can restore your chewing efficiency.