What are dental implants?
Dental implants are considered to be the best form of natural tooth replacement in dentistry today owing to their countless benefits. Unlike dentures and bridges, implants replace both, the crown as well as the root portion of the missing tooth. Some of the most important advantages of opting for implants over other replacement options include:
– Unmatched strength and ability to withstand even the strongest forces of mastication
– Maintain facial tone and contour
– Preserve underlying jaw bone, preventing it from resorption and degeneration
– Offer excellent aesthetics
– Complete restoration of masticatory function and speech
– Permanent tooth replacement
It is essential to note however, that unlike bridges and denture, the implant procedure is a surgically invasive one. It is also more expensive. A patient is only deemed eligible for the procedure following careful evaluation of his/her family history, drug/medical history and dental hygiene habits.
How are implants placed into the empty sockets?
A dental implant has three main components; the first and top-most one is the crown, fabricated using porcelain to match the anatomy and shade of the natural teeth in the oral cavity. The second component is the abutment – this portion is the one on to which the crown rests. The third and last component is the implant itself which is fitted into the jaw bone for optimal anchorage. The implant is first surgically placed underneath the gum and is allowed to integrate with the surrounding bone in a process known as osseo-integration. Once the threads of the implant have fused with the bone, the abutment is placed and the crown is loaded on top.