Dental implants are an attractive option for patients dealing with tooth loss. Tooth loss can occur as the result of decay that has weakened a tooth so much that it cannot be saved, even by the application of a crown, or because of periodontal diseases such as gingivitis, or as the result of injuries. In the past, the only replacements for missing teeth were either full dentures (false teeth) or partial dentures, also referred to as dental bridges. While these worked to fill the gaps in the mouth left by missing teeth, they required care and cleaning, often needed to be removed at night, and were somewhat fragile, and thus prone to being broken.
They are artificial or prosthetic teeth, but rather than be suspended between two healthy teeth via a dental bridge, they are attached directly to the jaw, to a metal (usually titanium) post that has been implanted there. Once attached, the prosthetic teeth are held firmly in place by the implanted posts, and provide a more permanent solution to the problem of missing teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
The American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics lists a number of advantages of implants over dentures and bridges. For example, for many patients they better approximate the “feel” of their natural teeth, which improves their overall “dental self confidence.” Implanted teeth also provide a more natural and secure bite, allowing patients to eat foods that they have been unable to eat with dentures or dental bridges in place. Implanted teeth can also sometimes be used in conjunction with dental bridges to provide a more stable platform to which to attach the bridges.
Is everyone a candidate for dental implants?
The answer to this has to be “No.” If you feel that dental implants might be a solution of interest to you, consult with a dentist like dental implants toronto, who will examine you thoroughly and not only take X-rays and examine your mouth, but will ask other questions about your overall health. This is important because to be able to successfully support the titanium posts inserted into the jaw, the bone of the jaw – and your immune system — must be strong and healthy.
If your mouth is healthy enough to support the implants, you must also be committed to proper maintenance of the implanted teeth after the procedure has been completed. This means meticulous brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist, and avoiding behaviors like heavy drinking of alcohol and smoking, both of which can compromise the success of the procedure.