Dental implants are natural-looking replacements for lost or missing teeth, designed to look, feel and function like biological teeth. The technology is so advanced, and the prosthetics are so good that nobody will be able to tell the difference between your original teeth and those you have had implanted. They are more like natural teeth than any other form of tooth replacement option.
Each part of a dental implant plays a role in achieving a natural look which is why they are considered the best way to replace lost or missing teeth.
A titanium screw or fixture: This is the main part of a dental implant, a screw-shaped post made of high-grade titanium which is placed into the jawbone in the area of tooth loss. It is a substitute for the root of a natural tooth.
A tooth´s root makes up two-thirds of its entire structure and lies underneath the gums and in the jawbone. Likewise, once inserted into the jaw, the titanium screw is hidden from sight and only visible by x-ray. It will also fuse naturally with the bone in a process known as osseointegration.
Because of this fact, implants are able to restore your natural chewing function and provide jawbone stimulation just like natural tooth roots. Every time you bite down on some food, the implant transfers forces to the bone, maintaining bone mass and consequently your facial contour.
Compare this to other replacements like dentures that merely sit on top of the gum. Dental implants become part of the gum, just like ordinary teeth.
Abutment: This is a small, metal connector piece that screws into the implant once you’ve healed from the surgery that fixes the titanium post. The abutment will securely hold your dental prosthesis in place.
Dental prosthesis: This is the only part of a dental implant that is visible and can be a bridge, dental crown or denture. Other tooth replacement options such as bridges and dentures only mimic the appearance of the crown, which is just one-third of a tooth´s anatomy.
1) Dental implants are considered as strong as natural teeth, fusing with the jawbone and forming a tough bond similar to your natural tooth root. This puts them head and shoulders above other dental restorations. Implants do not slip from their position or affect speech, nor do they limit food options. The jawbone support they provide means you will be able to eat just about anything.
2) Just like natural teeth, dental implants should be long-lasting. A properly fitted implant that is well looked after through good oral hygiene practices can last 20 years or more. However, poor hygiene habits, accidents and gum infections could shorten their lifespan.
3) Dental implants can be perfectly matched to the size, color and shape of your existing natural teeth. The crown part is often made of porcelain which matches the texture and translucency of teeth.
Of course, everyone´s teeth are different, and your dental implant surgeon will be able to shade the porcelain to ensure a perfect match.
The crown can also be made of other materials, such as gold and silver. However, when it comes to achieving the most natural look possible, the majority of patients opt for porcelain or ceramic crowns.
4) Dental implants need the same care as natural teeth, which means brushing and flossing as usual. Although dental implants will not decay because of caries, they can chip, break and loosen if not cared for properly, just like natural teeth. If you suffer from bruxism (grinding and clenching of teeth), you may need to wear a nightguard to prevent damage while you´re sleeping.
Once your implants are in place, you are still at risk of gum disease affecting the tissue around the implant sites. This is another reason to stick to good oral hygiene practices which includes having regular checkups with your dentist.
We understand that losing one or more teeth can be an upsetting experience. It can make eating and talking challenging and may leave you embarrassed, wanting to hide your smile. At Chesterfield Dentistry, our friendly and expert team perform natural-looking dental implant restorations that offer a permanent solution to tooth replacement.
For more information about receiving dental implants that closely match your natural teeth or to schedule a consultation, contact us at (314) 786 3360 or make a booking online.
We look forward to helping you enjoy the life-changing benefits of implants.