Since we’re now into 2019 (despite the creeping sense that we were just the other day worried about the Y2K bug), maybe it’s time to finally do something about that missing tooth of yours. How about a New Year’s resolution to have a new tooth?
We can do that for you at Gentle Dental with a shiny new dental implant.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants get their name from their anchor, a titanium implant that is placed down into the patient’s jawbone. Implants are shaped like a screw and they are screwed down into the hole formerly occupied by the tooth root. The human body accepts titanium, so the jawbone begins to build up around the implant and in a few months it becomes a part of the jaw. Once this has happened, we place a post, called an abutment, into the implant. Then we attach an artificial porcelain tooth to the post and, voila, new tooth!
Why is an implant the way to go?
Implants are the best option for replacing a missing tooth. Here are some reasons why:
- Implants restore normal chewing and biting ability. They act just like a natural tooth, so you can eat whatever you want.
- Implants are self-contained, meaning they don’t rely on the adjacent teeth as bridges do. A bridge is anchored by crowns on the healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth. Those teeth need to be shaved down to make room for the crowns.
- Implants can replace a single tooth, a couple, or a few. Or, implants make great anchors for partial dentures for a whole series of missing teeth. Implants make these prosthetics stable compared to adhesives, locking mechanisms, and such.
- Replacing a missing tooth with an implant keeps the adjacent teeth on each side of the missing tooth from sliding over into the gap. This messes up your tooth alignment and bite.
- Implants keep the jawbone healthy. Like a natural tooth, an implant delivers the energy created by biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the implant. This is how the jawbone is triggered to continually create new bone cells. Without this energy, the jawbone begins to deteriorate in that spot.
- Implants work. Success rates with implant placement approach 95 percent.
- Your implant will likely last the rest of your life. Implants are the most durable dental prosthetic by far.