What Are Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth component that is embedded into the jawbone, and that serves as a replacement base for a tooth that has been lost to an accident, decay, or disease.  Invented in the early 1950’s by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon by the name of Per Ingvar Branmark, the use of dental implants in modern day dentistry has become a routine and widely relied upon procedure.  Dental implants are unique in that following implantation, the inserted dental structure actually fuses, over a number of months, into the jawbone and acts as a sturdy support structure for the replacement tooth.  In terms of strength and stability, using dental implants to replace a missing tooth is the absolute closest thing to having an actual healthy and naturally rooted tooth.  If you are thinking about getting a dental implant, take a look at some of this key information that can help you understand exactly how they work.

What are dental implants made of?

The majority of dental implants are made of Titanium, which is a biocompatible metal that is well accepted by the body.  Titanium, forms very close bonds with body tissue once implanted, and thus provides a firm, solid foundation on which a replacement tooth can sit.

Can I replace more than one tooth?

Yes!  Even if you have more than one missing tooth, a dental implant may provide your ideal solution.  Whether the placed implants support individual crowns or support a fixed bridge, dental implants not only work flawlessly, but are also found to be more comfortable than partial dentures, and do not negatively impact the appearance of the gum line or jaw line.

Are there different types of dental implants?

When it comes to dental implants, there are two primary types. The first is called a ‘Subperiosteal’ implant and it refers to a dental implant that sits underneath the gum tissue but that rests above the jaw bone.  Subperiosteal implants are not often used anymore due to decreased levels of implant stability.   An ‘Endosteal’ dental implant is very popular in dental procedures today and is one that is placed directly into the bone of the jaw.  The result is a very strong and sturdy tooth replacement that very closely mimics the look, feel, and rooting strength of a natural tooth.

Is getting a dental implant painful?

The surgical procedure that is required for getting a dental implant is performed under local anesthesia, and thus is a painless procedure.  Once the local anesthetic has worn off, the after effect of the procedure may feel similar to the sensations associated with having a tooth extraction.  For patients who do experience post procedure pain, dentists may advise the use of over the counter painkillers for a few days until relief is found.

If you are thinking of getting a dental implant, we can help.  Contact our office for a free consultation and learn more about how we can use dental implants to bring your smile back to brand new!


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