Dental implants are the tiniest prosthetic devices that can have a huge impact on your life. This is because dental implants target the most important part of your tooth, in terms of stability and strength. The root, of a tooth, has numerous functions that it fulfills. Primary among these is to provide the tooth with a stable base and nutrition.
Additionally, the root has a symbiotic relationship with the jawbone that further helps the stability of the tooth. A dental implant replicates the root’s functionality and provides your dentist with a strong, stable base on which to place a dental crown so that you have a tooth that not only looks, but also functions like a naturally occurring tooth. This is one of the reasons why implants are growing in popularity.
Another reason is the pure convenience of having a device that requires no special or additional care and allows you to eat and drink all the same things as you would with your natural teeth. To have a fake tooth that is as strong as your other teeth, looks the same, and ultimately has a symbiotic relationship with the jawbone is the crux of what makes dental implants a superior device for replacing your lost teeth.
As devices go, dental implants are one of the simplest prosthetics that you can get. Typically we use what is called an Endosteal implant. Essentially an Endosteal implant is small metal; we use titanium, screw or cylindrical object that is inserted directly into the jawbone. This provides a great deal of stability and is the base for your new fake tooth or teeth.
However, there are some cases where we cannot use an Endosteal implant. Some patients do not have the sufficient amount of bone density, or the right amount of bone mass, in the jawbone for it to be able to sustain the implant.
Since there is a symbiotic relationship between the jaw and the implant, it is important that the jaw be strong enough to maintain the implant and keep the tooth steady. In cases where the patients jaw cannot be counted on to perform this function, we can either perform a jaw restoration surgery or we can use a different type of implant.
The second type of implant that we use is known as a Subperiosteal implant. It is placed underneath the gum directly on top of, or slightly above, the jawbone. This gives the stability your tooth needs without further compromising an already weakened bone.
Once the implants have been placed, they will take anywhere from four to six weeks to be completely integrated as the gums and bone need time to heal. Once they are healed, we will place the dental crown that looks and acts like a tooth.
There are two approaches to the healing of the gums and bone. The first is called a one-step implant. In this process, the dentist will cover the implant wit tissue and allow it to heal naturally.
The second method is a two-step method where the dentist will place a healing abutment over the implant, allowing the bone and tissue to heal around it instead.