If you were to say that the field of dentistry rose out of the need to replace missing teeth, many dentists would probably agree with you. It’s obvious, though, that the strategies used in the field of dentistry of today are far removed from the thousand-year-old, hand-carved dentures of the ancient past. Nowadays, if you want to replace a missing tooth, you have tons of options, perhaps the greatest of which is a dental implant procedure. At Above Dental, we offer dental implant services for patients in the North Bend and Coos Bay areas. No tooth replacement is as good as a natural tooth, but dental implants are the closest option.
What are dental implants?
Despite their status as a relatively new dental technique, dental implants have rapidly become one of the most favored procedures among dentists. The source of their excitement lies in the nature of the dental implant. Compared to other tooth replacement options like dentures and bridges, dental implants are one of the most organic and least invasive ways you could use to install a permanent tooth prosthetic. There are even options for full mouth dental implants!
The crux of the procedure lies in a small piece of pure titanium metal. Designed to be rod-like and tooth root-like in appearance, this piece of metal is carefully implanted into the gums in the first phase of the implant procedure. As you can probably imagine, this is a surgical step that many practitioners reserve for professionals trained in oral surgery. Much precision is required to place the titanium root in the gums properly, and since the entire procedure hinges on the success of this surgery, the step is a vital one.
So, why titanium? In the early 1900s, doctors discovered that when titanium is implanted in the body, it fuses to the bone, creating a permanent attachment. Originally, doctors were experimenting with ways to fix broken bones. But, dentists soon applied the idea to prosthetic teeth. Once the titanium fuses to the jawbone, the permanent connection is very similar to the natural tooth roots and the bone.
Once the surgical area heals, your dentist can fashion and attach a dental crown to the titanium, creating a prosthetic that both looks and acts like an ordinary tooth. In fact, to an outside observer, the implant should be totally invisible. Advances in dental crown technology mean that crowns now look closer to real teeth than ever before. Combined, the titanium and the crown create a dental implant, a tooth prosthetic that is both different from and better than any of the other alternatives that are out there.
Why should I choose dental implants?
Why dental implants? We’ve briefly mentioned some of the benefits above, such as that dental implants are the closest thing you can get to an artificial tooth that looks and feels real. More specifically, though, dental implants:
- Look exactly like real teeth: The porcelain mix from which most dental crowns are fabricated can be tinted to match the rest of your teeth. The texture and refraction of the material are as close as you can get to natural teeth as well. Essentially, no one should be able to tell the difference between the implant and a normal tooth.
- Can be used exactly like real teeth: Unlike dentures, which are removable and can be problematic when eating, dental implants allow you to retain 100% of the functionality of your mouth. You should be able to eat, drink, and talk however you’d like post-procedure and will never have to deal with the inconveniences of removable prosthetics.
- Are cleaned just like real teeth: You don’t have to do anything special to maintain your dental implants; you simply brush and floss around them like you would the rest of your teeth. There are no special cleaning solutions involved like with dentures — you just have to keep up your normal oral hygiene habits.
- Don’t impact your other teeth: Perhaps best of all, your dental implant is completely independent from the rest of the teeth in your mouth. Unlike bridges, which rely on neighboring teeth for support (and require the filing of such teeth), dental implants can stand perfectly fine on their own. That means that if something does happen, the impact is localized — you don’t have to worry about losing functionality in the rest of the mouth.
To take advantage of the great benefits of dental implants, schedule an appointment with your dentist today! At Above Dental, we’re always happy to talk to new and existing patients about potential treatments they may be eligible for. Just call (541) 756-0155 or visit our website for more information and to set up a consultation!