Are you considering dental implants to restore the look and function of your smile? If so, perhaps you're wondering exactly what dental implants are. Here's more from our Langley dentist on these natural looking tooth replacements.
The actual implant portion of dental implants forms a stable base or 'root' to which an artificial tooth can be attached. It is a tiny screw that is surgically placed in the jaw where the root of the missing natural tooth would have been.
This portion of the dental implant is made from titanium. Titanium is 'biocompatible' with the surrounding tissue, which means it's not harmful to the surrounding tissue and will, with time, become integrated with the jaw bone.
Once the implant has had time to heal, (approximately 4-6 months), the next stage of the dental implant procedure can begin.
Now, a titanium or ceramic abutment can be attached to the dental implant. An abutment is a small connector that will secure the artificial tooth to the dental implant.
Finally, once the dental implant and the abutment are firmly in place and properly healed, a crown, bridge or denture can be fitted to the abutment.
When a single tooth is being replaced a dental crown will be attached to the abutment.
A crown is typically ceramic or a mixture of metal and porcelain, and will be is screwed or cemented onto the abutment in order to create a natural looking tooth replacement.
For patients looking to replace a number of teeth in a row, a dental bridge may be used. A bridge can replace several teeth with just two implants to hold it in place.
A dental bridge is typically made of porcelain and is created to blend in with your natural teeth.
An implant supported denture may be used if all of the teeth in the jaw are being replaced.
Unlike conventional dentures which rest on the gums, implant supported dentures are secured in place with dental implants.
Implant supported dentures are a full set of plastic or porcelain teeth attached to a gum-coloured acrylic base for a natural look.