A dental implant is a titanium post surgically placed into the jawbone that allows a dentist to insert replacement teeth or bridges into a patient’s mouth. An implant is NOT removable like a set of dentures. Dental implants benefit oral health due to not having to be attached to other teeth like dental bridges.
How does a dental implant function?
Implants attach to a patient’s jawbone providing support for artificial teeth. One important benefit to patients with dentures or bridges is that after being attached to an implant these devices will not shift when eating or speaking. This fit helps them — and crowns placed on implants — feel natural.
Regular bridges and dentures can be uncomfortable for some patients. Ordinary bridges must be attached to existing natural teeth. Dental implants do not require other teeth to be prepared to hold a replacement tooth in the space left by a removed tooth.
There are two types of dental implants that The American Dental Association considers to be safe:
- Endosteal implants — implanted directly into the jawbone. A second surgery is needed to connect a post to the implant. An artificial tooth (or teeth) is attached to the post, or grouped on a bridge or denture.
- Subperiosteal implants —a metal frame is fitted onto the jawbone below the gums. The frame becomes fixed to the jawbone after healing. Posts protrude through the gums. Artificial teeth are then mounted to the posts.
Oral Care Specifics to dental Implants
You must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support a dental implant. Bone grafts may be required if your bone is too thin or soft or if there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw. If your sinuses are too close to the jaw, you may require a sinus lift.
Call or contact Cosmic Smiles for Kids and Adult Dentistry today for more information on whether or not dental implants are right for you. We have two convenient dental offices, one in Naples and the other in Marco Island, FL. We look forward to helping you achieve the most beautiful, healthy smile possible!