What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them. Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth.
Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won't slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging. In addition, ordinary bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or ground down to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants may be used to support a bridge when several teeth are missing. The bridge replaces the lost natural teeth and some of the tooth roots. An implant supported bridge does not require support from adjacent teeth. If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant supported denture can replace the missing teeth and some of the tooth roots. Because the dental implants integrate with the jawbone, an implant supported denture tends to be comfortable and stable, allowing you to bite and chew naturally. If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reason to correct the problem:
A gap between your teeth, if obvious when you smile or speak, is a cosmetic concern.
Missing teeth may affect your speech.
Missing a molar might not be noticeable when you talk or smile, but its absence can affect chewing.
When a tooth is removed, the biting force on the remaining teeth begins to change. To compensate for the lost tooth, there is a risk of extra pressure and discomfort on the jaw joints.
If a missing tooth is not replaced, the surrounding teeth can shift. Harmful plaque and tartar can collect in new hard-to-reach places created by the shifting teeth. Over time, this may lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Bone loss can occur in the region of the missing tooth.