What are Dental Implants?
- Dental Implants are an alternative to dentures or bridge work for replacing teeth.
- The dental implant is made from titanium and is surgically implanted in the jaw bone.
- The implant functions like the root of your missing tooth.
- Implants are usually placed in a dental office, using only local anesthesia.
- Generally, there is minimal post-operative pain or discomfort.
How do Implants Compare to Natural Teeth?
Dental implants are an ideal tooth replacement therapy because implants closely mimic natural teeth. All natural teeth have a dentin core, surrounded by an enamel coating, and are anchored in the jaw bone by their roots. A completed dental implant has a crown, which replicates the appearance of the enamel coating of the surrounding natural teeth. The crown is fixed to an abutment, or post, the equivalent of the dentin core. The post is attached to the titanium implant, which is anchored in the jaw bone and acts as the root of the replacement tooth.
Who is a Candidate for Implant Therapy?
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people all around the world benefit from dental implant therapy. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, "The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free from periodontal disease."
Your Munster dentist will evaluate various factors to determine if you're a candidate for dental implants. Those factors may include certain health conditions (e.g. uncontrolled diabetes) or risk factors (e.g. smoking). These types of conditions may not rule out dental implants, but they must be taken into consideration to be sure they will not compromise successful implant therapy.
One important factor affecting implant therapy is the density of your jaw bone, which can vary in density from very dense (ideal) to very porous or spongy. Less-than-ideal bone density does not necessary prevent having dental implants, but it will likely affect your treatment plan.
Hygiene & Long Term Success
- Adequate oral hygiene should be established prior to implant therapy and must be maintained to ensure the long-term health of dental implants.Like natural teeth, implants can fail when hygiene is poor, and plaque is allowed to accumulate.
- Many special brushes, flosses, and rinses are available to help you maintain your implant restoration. You should discuss the appropriate tools and their proper use with your dental professional.
- Regular visits to your Munster dentist are just as important to the continuing health of your implants.
- In addition to professional cleaning, your dentist will assess the success of your home care and the health of your dental implants.