Missing teeth can cause physical discomfort and prevent you from having the smile you desire. While there are several methods for incorporating artificial teeth to fill in the gaps, dental implants have emerged over the past few decades as a safe and highly preferable option for many patients.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into your jawbone, becoming a durable and sturdy base for supporting crowns, or artificial teeth, with the addition of a connector called an abutment. They offer an attractive alternative to bridgework and dentures because they are designed to help your replacement teeth function more naturally and comfortably.
Dental implants are built to last and don’t hinder your normal dental maintenance and hygiene. Additionally, they stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss at the site of the missing tooth, which prevents various health issues.
The two main types of implants include:
Endosteal. A procedure where the implants are surgically drilled directly into your jawbone. After the surrounding gum tissue has healed, you have a second surgery to connect a post to the endosteal implant before adding the crown.
Subperiosteal. A procedure in which a metal framework with posts is attached under you gum tissue but above the top of your jawbone. The posts protrude above the tissue and act as anchors for the replacement teeth.
For patients whose jawbone is not able to support dental implants, techniques such as bone augmentation, ridge expansion, and sinus elevation can help restore the facial structure and create a sturdy foundation for teeth replacement.