The use of a dental implant is the perfect solution for replacing missing or irreparable teeth.
First of all, a dental implant – which is the equivalent of an entrenched tooth root in the jaw – consists of placing a titanium screw to replace the missing root. Titanium is the material of choice because it is biocompatible (very good tolerance in the human body) and very solid. Once fixed in the jaw, a short healing period (about three days) allows the bone to attach to the implant. This implant can be used alone, with other implants or with healthy teeth, as needed. They can even be used in the case of total tooth loss. If used alone, a prosthesis will be fixed on top in one of two ways: by sealing or by screwing the prosthesis.
The screwed prosthesis is often made of ceramic or composite. To allow the installation of the prosthesis, the implant has a hole where the screws can be inserted. The prosthesis itself has an access which enables it to be screwed onto the implant. This access will then be filled by composite or ceramic material which will hide and protect this access. This kind of prosthesis can be used for a single tooth or many adjacent teeth.
The sealed dental prosthesis, in turn, requires an intermediate element called implant abutment. This will be screwed onto the implant. Thereafter, the ceramic crown is sealed on this “pillar” similar to the method used for fitting a conventional crown.
The use of implants is an excellent alternative to dentures and crowns. However, in rare occasions, the bone structure can not support the implants. In this case, other options may be considered, including bone graft.
The advantages of using implants are; comfort, quality of chewing and digestion, aesthetics and phonation. An implant is a lot closer to being a real tooth than other alternatives with the advantages of never having cavities or being affected by nerve abscess. The lifetime of the implant is another persuasive factor; according to studies, 95% of implants are still fully functional 30 years after installation. In addition, the implant prevents bone loss and therefore the aging of your face.