A dental implant is an artificial tooth root consisting of a titanium screw that resembles a tooth root. Missing teeth can be replaced with this high-tech technique and will look and function like real teeth. It involves a multiple stage process where the titanium screw (similar to that used in a hip replacement) is placed into the bone. At the next stage an abutment is placed on the fixture, this provides a core for the final crown to be placed upon.
If you are missing a single tooth or even multiple teeth, a dental implant may be the best way to replace them.
With each bite the dental implant stimulates the surrounding bone and preserves the integrity of the bone, preventing gum shrinkage. After a tooth is lost, the bone has no stimulation and begins to shrink away.
Unlike bridges, there is no reshaping or cutting of neighbouring healthy teeth when an implant is placed. For the placement of a dental implant a surgical procedure has to be performed using local anaesthetic, identical to what is used for fillings or tooth removal. The pain and discomfort after the surgery is minimal.
To receive implants you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
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