Patients lose teeth for several reasons. Sometimes teeth get knocked out accidentally. Sometimes a person’s overall health is a contributing factor to their ability to retain their permanent teeth. Occasionally, a primary tooth is lost without permanent teeth. Occasionally, a primary tooth is lost without permanent replacements. For whatever reason, dental implants are one of several ways to restore a beautiful smile.
But dental implants are more than just confidence boosters. When a tooth is lost, the gum and bone underneath where the tooth used to be can slowly deteriorate. With nothing to hold surrounding teeth in place, the remaining teeth gradually move to fill in the gap, often shrinking and twisting into the empty space. This misalignment of teeth can have detrimental effects on a person’s ability to chew and their overall oral health. To prevent this, your dentist may suggest a dental implant.
When a dental implant is required, your oral surgeon will begin by inserting a small titanium rod into the socket of the missing tooth. Your jawbone will grow around and fuse itself to this rod. This is essentially your new “roots,” and will anchor your implant to your jaw. Through taking a series of molds, he will then create a replacement tooth that will match the look of your remaining teeth. This replacement tooth will then be attached to the titanium rod, and help in place with a small metal rod called an abutment.
The implant is intended to be permanent, and will look, feel, and function just like your original tooth. Unlike dentures or bridges, your implant will not slip or click, does not require messy adhesive, and will not need to be removed to be cleaned.