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What is a Dental Implant?

Dr. Jackie Korol What is a Tooth Implant?
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  • October 13, 2017

 

Missing teeth can have many negative consequences. Aesthetically, missing teeth pose an obvious problem, espeically if the tooth lost is at the front of the mouth. People with missing teeth often repost a loss off self-confidence, they can lose their desire to smile, and even to speak in public. Additionally, missing teeth can create a functional problem causing difficulty with eating and digestion. Lost or missing teeth can have many negative side effects but, these days, dental implants offer an effective solution!

What exactly is a dental implant?

A dental implant is the replacement of the root of the tooth with a titanium screw. The dental implant is an artificial tooth that is placed in the jaw bone and restored with a dental crown. When complete, dental implants look and function like natural teeth. They are permanent in the mouth and help to preserve the surrounding jaw bone. Dental implants can help to improve chewing function, aestheitcs and speech. Dental implants are made with titanium, a strong and biocompatible material. It is the same metal that is used in knee and hip replacements and, when placed correctly, actually ossteointegrate or become part of the jaw bone. The success rate of dental implants is high, above 90%, and with proper home care (ie. brushing and flossing), should last a lifetime.

The three parts of a dental implant

Dental Implant Structure Diagram

  • The implant or titanium screw. This is the piece that is inserted into the jaw bone. It functions as the root of the new tooth and serves to anchor the other components of the implant in the jaw. It is made of titanium to ensure strength, durability and biocompatibility.
  • The abutment. This is the part that connects the titanium screw to the dental crown. The abutment can be made of titanium or zirconia and connects the implant (below the gum) to the crown of the tooth (above the gum).
  • The crown. This is the visible part of the dental implant. It is made to look and feel like a natural tooth. The crown is usually made of a ceramic material and is fabricated to match the color of your teeth. Implant crowns are extremely strong and durable, and, as opposed to natural teeth, can never decay! They restore the function and aesthetics of your smile and can be brushed and flossed normally.

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What types of dental implants are there?

There are two types of dental implants: single tooth replacement and multiple tooth replacement. Single tooth replacements consist of a single titanium screw, with an abutment and a crown. It takes the place of a single natural tooth. Multiple tooth replacements are used when two or more teeth are missing. In this case it is not always necessary to place a titanium screw for each natural tooth lost. Sometimes an implant-supported bridge or an implant-supported denture can be made to restore multiple missing teeth.

Who can get dental implants?

As a general rule, anyone who has lost one or more teeth can get a dental implant. Patients should be in good general health as medical conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis can compromise the prognosis of the implant. Gum disease, also known as periodontitis must be treated before pleaement of a dental implant! If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, consult with your Calgary dentist today. Dr. Korol is skilled in the placement and restoration of dental implants and can consult with you on your best treatment options. In any case, dental implants are a safe, effective and largely pain-free way to replace missing teeth.

 

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To find out more, call our Calgary clinic today at 403-245-9099 or book an appointment online.


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