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How do dental implants work

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Maintaining a healthy and confident smile sometimes goes beyond regular cleaning and checkups; dental procedures may require restoring, replacing or enhancing our teeth. Among the most effective and popular dental restoration procedures are dental implants.

Tooth implants are not just cosmetic additions but have a fundamental role in chewing and speech. However, the dental implant process can seem complex and intimidating to many. Understanding how dental implants work can help alleviate fears or uncertainties, making restoring your vibrant smile less daunting.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are tiny, screw-like posts that dental professionals surgically place into the jawbone to act as artificial tooth roots. They’re made of biocompatible materials that integrate with the bone and tissue in your mouth. Once the implants are in place, they provide a strong and stable foundation for replacement teeth.

Dental implants can be full-mouth, multiple, or single-tooth restorations. The type of implant and restoration used will depend on the patient’s specific needs.

The materials used in dental implant procedures include:

  • Titanium. The most commonly used material for the implant post due to its strength, durability and excellent compatibility with human bone tissue. Many have successfully used titanium implants for decades, which many dental experts consider the standard in dental implantology.
  • Zirconia. Also known as ceramic implants, zirconia is an alternative to titanium and is chosen for its tooth-like color. It’s also known for its biocompatibility, strength and resistance to corrosion, providing a metal-free option for patients.

Types of Dental Implants

There are three types of dental implants recognized by the dental community, each designed to accommodate various patient needs and bone structures:

  • Endosteal Implants. These are the most commonly used types of dental implants. Dentists or oral surgeons place it directly into your jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue heals, you’ll need to undergo a second procedure to connect an abutment to the implant. Finally, they will attach an artificial tooth to the post, which will look and act like your natural tooth.
  • Subperiosteal Implants. Unlike endosteal implants, these teeth implants go under your gum but on, or above, the jawbone. This type of implant works for patients who don’t have enough healthy natural jawbones and cannot or don’t want to undergo a bone augmentation procedure. It involves fixing a metal frame beneath the gum tissue with a post attached. Then, the gum heals around the frame to secure it, and oral surgeons mount artificial teeth to the posts.
  • Zygomatic Implants. These are a special type of dental implant designed for individuals with severe bone loss in the upper jaw. Unlike traditional dental implants that require a substantial amount of jawbone to anchor into, zygomatic implants are anchored in the zygoma bone, or cheekbone.

Components of Dental Implants

Traditional implants comprise three main components, with each one mimicking the function and appearance of a real tooth:

  • The Implant. This titanium post serves as a substitute for the tooth root. Dental surgeons surgically implant it into the healthy jawbone, where it integrates with the bone over months in a process known as osseointegration.
  • The Abutment. This component attaches to the implant and serves as a connector that holds the crown in place. It’s a small titanium screw that goes on top of the implant, providing a secure and stable base for the dental crown. Qualified dentists usually place the abutment after the implant has bonded with the jaw bone. However, in some cases, dental specialists can install it simultaneously as the implant.
  • Replacement Tooth. A replacement or prosthetic tooth can be a dental bridge, crown or denture. This is the part of the dental implant that’s visible above the gum line. It is custom-made to match the color and shape of your original teeth, ensuring a seamless blend with the rest of your teeth. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

Improve Oral Health

Brushing your teeth can become difficult if you have missing teeth, as the gap can increase plaque build-up and lead to gum disease. Dental implants help improve oral health by filling in these gaps and reducing plaque buildup.

Enhance Appearance

Missing teeth can impact your facial structure, leading to sunken cheeks or an uneven jawline. Dental implants restore your teeth’s natural appearance, helping maintain a youthful facial shape and smile. They also address tooth loss, which can affect your appearance.

Improve Your Quality of Life

Dental implants provide a long-term solution to tooth loss, restoring your ability to chew and speak confidently. They also eliminate the need for messy adhesives or worrying about dentures slipping out of place. Additionally, they improve your self-confidence, making it easier to smile and interact with others without feeling self-conscious about missing teeth.

Promote Bone Growth and Health

When you lose a tooth, the supporting bone in your jaw can deteriorate over time. Dental implants prevent this bone loss by providing stimulation to the jawbone, promoting its growth and health.

Don’t Require Removing a Part of the Adjacent Teeth

Unlike dental bridges, implants do not require grinding down neighboring teeth for support. This preserves the natural structure of your remaining teeth, leading to healthier and stronger overall oral health.

How Do Full Mouth Dental Implants Work? 

Full-mouth dental implants involve replacing all of the teeth in one or both jaws with implant-supported prosthetics. This is ideal for individuals who have lost most if not all, of their natural teeth due to severe decay, periodontal disease or injury.

Like other types of dental implant procedures, the process involves placing titanium posts into the jawbone, which will serve as anchors for the prosthetic teeth. The number of implants required may vary depending on individual needs and bone structure.

Once the implants have integrated with the jawbone and healed, a customized set of replacement teeth is attached to the posts, providing a natural-looking and functional set of teeth. With proper care, full-mouth dental implants can last 25 years or more, greatly improving the quality of life for individuals with missing teeth.

Knowing how do full dental implants work can help you make an informed decision about your dental health and explore the best options for restoring your smile.

Make an Informed Decision About Dental Implants at Smiles of Memorial Dentistry: Get Yours Today

If you are considering dental implants, it is important to consult with a qualified and experienced dental team. At Smiles of Memorial Dentistry, our experienced dentists can guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision about your oral health.

We understand that each patient’s needs are unique, which is why we offer personalized treatment plans tailored to meet individual goals and preferences. Our team uses advanced technology and techniques to ensure a safe, comfortable and successful implant procedure.

Don’t let missing teeth affect your oral health and confidence any longer. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how dental implants can transform your smile!