What Is a Dental Implant and What Is One Used For?

Dental Implants: 5.5 Million and Counting

dental_implants We know that when you’re missing a tooth, it can be really difficult to live with. Not only does it make it difficult to chew and enjoy food, but it can also really affect self-confidence. It could make you hesitant to laugh, talk, and especially smile.

Dentures are one solution, but they come with their own set of problems. They require a lot of special care and upkeep, plus they can be embarrassing! They don’t always look natural and can slip out of place or make noise when you’re eating or talking.

Don’t worry, we have a better, more natural-looking solution. The most effective and long-term fix for missing teeth is dental implants.

What Is a Dental Implant and What Is One Used For?

Dental implants are used as a way or replacing missing teeth. There are a lot of reasons that teeth could fall out. Sometimes, they can get irreparably damaged because of poor oral hygiene, gum disease, or infection. But teeth can also fall out because of an unavoidable defect or injury. It’s estimated that by age fifty, Americans are already missing an average of twelve teeth.

A dental implant is a post or frame that’s surgically implanted into the jaw bone to serve as an anchor or replacement tooth root. A crown that is designed to match the patient’s natural teeth is then attached to the implant. If more than one tooth needs to be replaced, implants can also be used to support a larger bridge or denture to fill in the space left by the missing teeth.

Through the healing process, the implant fuses with the jaw bone, which is why they are strong enough to last a lifetime and can function like natural teeth. They’re typically made from titanium, a material used in knee replacements and other surgeries that is hypoallergenic, strong, and accepted easily by the body.

Dental implants might seem like a new technology, but they’ve actually been around for more than thirty years. They are now so popular that more than 5.5 million missing teeth are replaced by an implant every year.

Why Are Dental Implants the Best Solution?

There are a lot of reasons why dental implants are better than other options for replacing missing teeth.

  • They look and perform just like real teeth.
  • They can last a lifetime with proper care.
  • They don’t rely on other teeth for support, which keeps the surrounding teeth strong and healthy.
  • They fill the empty spaces in the mouth, which keeps the jaw bone healthy by helping to maintain bone density.
  • They stay right where they’re supposed to – in the mouth – unlike dentures, which often slip.
  • They spare you from worrying about whether or not something will be difficult or painful to chew.
  • They require the exact same care as for natural teeth – just brush, floss, and visit a dentist regularly.
  • They help maintain a natural face shape and smile.
  • They are implanted in an in-office procedure done under local anesthesia.

The Process

There are a few steps to the procedure, including surgically placing the dental implant into the jawbone then waiting two to six months for healing and fusion to occur. The dentist will also need time to make a crown that is a close match to the natural teeth.

From beginning to end, the whole process will take about six to eight months. We can provide you with a temporary partial denture to wear during the process so you don’t have to live with missing teeth while you’re waiting for your implant to heal. It’s important to remember that, even though it may take a while to complete, once the implant procedure is done, it’s there for the long-term.

Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or even all of the teeth if necessary. There are two ways of implanting them.

  1. Endosteal implants are placed by an oral surgeon directly into the jawbone. A post is connected to the implant once healing has occurred and then the crown is attached.
  1. Subperiosteal implants are a metal frame that is placed onto (as opposed to into) the jawbone. The frame becomes fused with the jaw as the surrounding gums heal. The posts stick out through the gums and the crown is attached.

Dental Implants in Racine, Wisconsin

Dental implants are not for everyone. Overall health and medical history might prevent someone from being a good candidate. But we can help can help you figure out if dental implants are the right option for you. Dr. Westman uses CT scan images right in the office to make sure every dental implant we do is planned perfectly in order to achieve the best result for our patients.

Dental Implants made by Dr. Westman is the right choice for many – and maybe for you!

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