Dental implants are essentially artificial roots that are implanted in the socket where the natural tooth was once located. The traditional implant is composed of titanium and, once inserted and melded with the jawbone, is used to support the new artificial tooth. New technology has also made available metal-free implant options such as the CeraRoot ceramic implant and the Z systems zirconia implant. These implants are ideal for those individuals who suffer from metal allergies and therefore cannot receive the traditional titanium posts.
Each post will support a single tooth. If you require a single tooth replacement, a single post and tooth will be sufficient. In the event that multiple sequential teeth are missing from the mouth, the implants can be used as a means of supporting a bridge. And, in the event that all your teeth require replacement, implants may be able to support a full denture or complete bridge.
Dental implants have become an increasingly popular means of tooth replacement for a variety of reasons. Unlike bridges and dentures, implants are permanent meaning that they make simple daily activities such as smiling, speaking, and eating far simpler. Dental implants are also much more natural in both look and feel, allowing you to be more confident in your appearance. Another distinct advantage of implants is that neighboring teeth are not affected by the restoration. Whereas bridges require surrounding teeth for support, implants provide all of the necessary support themselves so that your natural, healthy teeth can remain undisturbed. If well taken care of, implants can last a lifetime while bridges will usually require replacement every five to ten years.
In order for a dental implant to be successful, the surrounding gum tissue and bone must be healthy enough to support the post. Using special software, we are able to evaluate the quantity and quality of your bone to better determine if and where the dental implants should be inserted. If we determine that there is not sufficient bone for the implant to be successful, we might suggest a bone graft to improve the eventual site of the implant.
After the implant and artificial tooth have been placed, it is important to remember to keep up with your proper dental hygiene. Just like natural teeth, dental implants need to be brushed and flossed to prevent plaque buildup and regular dental visits must be continued so as to preserve both your remaining healthy teeth as well as your dental implants.