A dental implant is a tiny titanium screw that acts as a tooth root and is used to anchor a crown or bridge. At Collins Dental, the implant holds the artificial tooth in place, providing a permanent solution to missing teeth. In addition to helping patients chew food and speak clearly, implants can prevent further tooth loss. Over time, the jawbone can shrink without supporting the tooth root. In a process known as resorption, the bone causes the remaining teeth to shift out of place, often leading to additional tooth loss as a lack of support weakens nearby teeth. The dental implant prevents this bone loss by anchoring an artificial tooth into the jawbone. Dental implants are the only treatment to replace an individual tooth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Because the implant acts as replacement tooth roots, they stimulate the jawbone and prevent it from deteriorating over time. This is crucial to maintaining good oral and overall health since the jaw and surrounding facial muscles support the skin and underlying tissues of the face. Without these supportive structures, the face can sink inward and appear sunken and hollow. This can give the face an overall older appearance and cause wrinkles to form prematurely.
The Dental Implants Procedure
Dental implants are placed throughout two procedures, with several months in between the two. The implants are surgically placed into the jawbone during an initial procedure. After the bone has healed around those posts, the patient will return for the second surgery, where an abutment is attached to the post, and a custom restoration is either attached or made to be fitted soon after. This final step completes restoring missing teeth with a dental implant-supported crown, bridge, or complete dentures.
Many patients prefer implants over traditional bridges and dentures because they offer a more permanent solution but are much more convenient to care for and clean than removable appliances. Patients don’t need messy adhesives to keep the appliance in place and won’t practice unique daily cleaning routines. Plus, the implant posts help to stimulate the natural bone in the jaw and keep it strong and healthy so that surrounding natural teeth don’t begin to shift out of place.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Implants are cared for just like natural teeth and need not be altered with special care. You can brush and floss them normally.
Replacing missing or damaged teeth with dental implants can dramatically improve your smile’s appearance. The surrounding teeth are supported, and the smile is restored naturally.
Patients with tooth-implant-supported removable dentures often have difficulty with slurred speech. Implants offer a permanent replacement option that restores everyday speech.
Most patients with dental implants find that they can care for their new smile just like they usually would with regular teeth. Contact Collins Dental at 1900 7th St., Las Vegas, NM 87701, or call (505) 425-3331 to learn more about dental implants.