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Implants: Replace Missing Teeth

implant

 

What is an implant?

An implant is a titanium post that is integrated into the jaw bone to replace the root of a tooth. Attaching a crown to the implant creates a virtually undetectable match to the natural teeth. Two or more implants can be used to support a bridge or denture if multiple teeth are missing.

 

What is an implant used for?

Implants are used to replace missing teeth. When a missing tooth is not replaced, the teeth that surround the gap can move into the space, causing bite, jaw joint, and esthetic problems. An implant can be preferable to other treatments because it does not require any treatment to be done to the surrounding teeth.

 

How is an implant placed?

The post is placed into the bone. It usually takes several months for the area to heal, and a provisional (temporary) crown maintains esthetics in the meantime. Once the implant is firmly integrated into the bone, a custom crown attaches to the implant post.  However, due to surgical advances, sometimes the final crown can be placed immediately.

 

Advantages:

Implants replicate your natural tooth closer than any other appliance, which means increased esthetics, function, and durability. An implant prevents the problems caused by teeth drifting into a missing tooth’s space. Unlike dentures, implants don’t tilt or shift. They don’t use adhesives like dentures, and they don’t cause sore spots on your gums. Unlike bridges, implants are easier to keep clean by traditional brushing and flossing.

 

Disadvantages:

Implants require surgery and time to heal, and a higher initial investment. The long-term benefits and convenience of implants compensate for these disadvantages.

 

Other possible treatments:

If finances are prohibitive, bridges or dentures are the only alternatives.

 

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