What are implants? Are you missing one or more teeth and would like to restore your ability to smile, speak, and eat with comfort and confidence? Then dental implants may be right for you! Dental Implants are small, titanium, screw-shaped threaded cylinders that are placed into the bone in the upper (Maxillary) and/or lower (Mandibular) arches of the mouth. They are used to replace one or many missing teeth, or to stabilize dentures. Titanium is an inert metal that is capable of creating a very tight bond with bone. Titanium is used in other operations such as knee or hip replacements so it is a proven surgical component. Dental implants are no longer experimental. Due to differences in bone quality and quantity, the life time success rate for implants is 93-98%.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes.
The implant acts like the root of a natural tooth, and bone actually forms around a special coating on the implant to hold the implant firmly in place. A crown, with the look, feel, and function of a natural tooth is then affixed to an abutment which is connected to the implant. The 'abutment' is simply a small connecting piece between the implant and the crown. In cases where there are multiple missing teeth, or where the patient has previously had dentures, multiple implants are placed in the mouth to allow for implant-supported crowns or bridges, ball abutment retained over-dentures, and/or bar-supported over dentures.
Abutment head attached to implant to receive permanent crown. The success rate for dental implants is very high; and, with proper care, good dental hygiene, and a healthy life style, it is rare that implants will fail.
Over the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of implants have been placed. Many of the 'original' implants are still functioning without problems. Technology and procedures have advanced significantly since the first implants were laced.
Photo above: Tooth #9 missing. Replaced with a Titanium Dental Implant. Abutment head attached to implant to receive final permanent crown. Right photo- Treatment completed – final porcelain crown attached to dental implant.
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