What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a revolutionary medical device that dentists use to replace the root of a missing tooth. Once the titanium implant is in place, a tooth-colored dental prosthesis, referred to as a crown, serves as the visible portion of the missing tooth. At St. Anthony Park Dental Care in St. Paul, Minnesota, dentists frequently replace missing teeth using dental implants and dental prostheses.
The Dental Implant Fuses With the Jawbone
The dentist places the implant within the jawbone and, as time passes, the bone fuses with the titanium implant. This fusion process is referred to as osseointegration.
Once the osseointegration process is complete, the dental implant is, essentially, part of the jawbone itself. Therefore, unlike the traditional single-tooth replacement prosthesis (i.e., a flipper) that the wearer can remove, the dental implant and its crown remain in place.
Replacing Multiple Teeth Using Dental Implants
Individuals who need more than one tooth replaced, including those who are missing an entire arch of teeth, can receive several dental implants to secure a single prosthesis consisting of multiple crowns.
Individuals who are replacing multiple teeth that are close to one another may receive a bridge, and those who need to replace an entire arch of teeth can opt for an implant-supported denture. Just like a single dental implant with a crown, these dental prostheses are fixed, which means they remain in place. However, there is a removable option for individuals who are replacing an entire arch of teeth, the overdenture.
Although the implants themselves remain within the jawbone, an individual replacing an arch of teeth can opt for an overdenture. This dental prosthesis is removable.
Implants and Dental Prostheses Provide Natural-looking Results
Once the dental implants and their prostheses are in place, the tooth appears completely natural.
Why Is Replacing a Missing Tooth So Important?
When a tooth is lost, it can negatively affect the jawbone, the other teeth and the mouth.
Potential consequences of a missing tooth include:
- Since the root of the missing tooth is gone, the jawbone in that area is not being stimulated. This lack of stimulation results in the body absorbing and breaking down that section of jawbone.
- The loss of a front tooth can lead to difficulty pronouncing certain words.
- A change in chewing patterns can cause temporomandibular disorder (TMD). People with TMD frequently experience jaw pain and headaches.
- When the location of a lost tooth is visible, an individual’s self-esteem may suffer.
The drawbacks associated with neglecting to replace a lost tooth make it clear that tooth replacement as soon as possible is important.
A dental implant is the most natural-looking replacement option; it keeps the jawbone stimulated and feels just like a real tooth. To learn more, call or text St. Anthony Park Dental Care today at 1-651-644-9216. To request an appointment, please contact us. St. Anthony Park Dental Care is located at 2278 Como Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota.