Dental implants are a tooth replacement option reserved for adults. They are not suitable for replacing missing teeth among children because children and teenagers’ oral cavities – particularly their jawbones – are still growing and developing. Even if a child is missing an adult tooth, restorations like dental bridges are preferred. Following are answers to common questions about dental implants.
What makes up a dental implant?
A dental implant is made of titanium. This metal is special because it is biocompatible with the body. Titanium is used to replace hard, mineralized tissue such as bone, joints, and the roots of teeth. The reason titanium is used is because bone can integrate and fuse to it through a biological process called osseointegration.
How do dental implants work?
Implants basically replace the lost structure of a tooth’s root. They are embedded into the jawbone through an outpatient surgical procedure. Once the implant is stabilized by bone, a process that takes months, a patient will receive a permanent, custom restoration to complete the process. The restoration is attached to an abutment on the dental implant. Restorations like crowns and bridges can be made from a variety of materials including metal and porcelain.
What are the benefits of implants?
There are numerous benefits of having lost teeth replaced by dental implants. Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants replace all of a tooth’s structure, not just its visible portions. By replacing the roots of teeth, implants can help keep bone stimulated, thus preventing bone deterioration. Implants are also very stable and durable, which allows for a complete restoration of oral function once they are stabilized. For instance, dentures can slip or slide when eating or speaking but dental implants will not move. Moreover, implants are treated like natural a tooth, which means they are brushed and flossed as normal.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Determining candidates for dental implants involves a through oral examination that includes the taking of diagnostic images. Those receiving implants will need adequate bone mass to support the implant and its stabilization. Possessing decent oral health and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle is a factor as well.
Call us today at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists to reserve a consultation.