A dental implant is another treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Instead of resting on the gum line like removable dentures, or anchoring to adjacent teeth as in the case of a fixed bridge, dental implants are surgically placed directly into the jawbone. Made of titanium metal, the dental implant fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. As a result, the implant remains firmly in place without the often embarrassing clicking noises one experiences while speaking or eating with ill-fitting dentures.
A typical single tooth implant is comprised of three parts: the titanium "screw-like" portion that fuses with the jawbone; the abutment, which fits over the portion of the implant that protrudes from the gum line; and the crown, which is created by the dentist and fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance.
Although more costly up front, a dental implant may be more economical over your lifetime. For example, replacing a single tooth with a fixed bridge might require the cutting and shaping of adjacent teeth that may need to be restored in the future. Then there is the additional cost of having to replace a broken or lost bridge once or twice over the course of a lifetime. Additionally, since a removable partial denture may contribute to the loss of adjacent healthy teeth, repairing or replacing those additional teeth can be costly as well.
Further, while conventional dentures will have little effect on preventing bone loss in areas where teeth are missing, when a missing tooth is replaced by a dental implant, the fusion, or osseointegration of the implant and bone provides stability, and helps to preserve the jawbone.
Contact our office for more information about Dental Implants.