A dental implant is a titanium post, usually 3-4 millimeters in diameter. It is surgically inserted into the jaw tissue to serve as an anchor for replacement teeth.
Some implants have anchors that are screwed or are glued to the bone with a special adhesive. Others are held in place by a process called osseointegration. In this process, a layer of tissue forms over the implant and securely holds it within the bone.
When Are Dental Implants Recommended?
Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that allow individuals to retain facial structures and functions of the natural teeth. They are commonly used to replace one or more missing maxillary or mandibular teeth.
The dentist may recommend dental implants if you have any of these two conditions:
Severe Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is a significant cause of many dental problems. The tooth surface is exposed to many agents that may damage your teeth. But the most severe form of tooth decay is caused by acids that develop when bacteria in plaque metabolize certain foods.
These acids penetrate the enamel and eventually dissolve the underlying dentin layer, exposing the pulp tissue. The pulp then becomes inflamed and causes toothache. If this inflammation isn't treated, the dental pulp will eventually die and lead to tooth loss.
Tooth decay is caused by various factors, including poor oral hygiene and lack of fluoride in your diet. Local factors within the mouth, such as food consistency, acidity, and sugar levels, also play a massive role.
If your teeth are severely decayed, your dentist will have to surgically remove them. Once the infected teeth have been removed, the dentist may recommend multiple dental implants to attach several replacement teeth that will look and feel natural.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
Advanced periodontal disease is a progressive illness that leads to loss of the bone and tissues that support your teeth. This condition eventually leads to tooth loss.
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Bleeding gums
- Pain when you bite down
- Swollen or tender gums
The management of advanced periodontal disease mainly focuses on prevention or reduction of the loss of alveolar bone around your teeth. In this context, your dentist may recommend a personalized treatment plan, which includes:
- Scaling and root planing
Dental implants are an effective solution when other treatments can't help you anymore due to the severe bone loss around your teeth. The implants help restore only the lost teeth and strengthen structure around the jaw.
Teeth replacement with dental implants can help give your smile a boost of confidence and more appeal. Consult with your dentist to see if you need dental implants.