Dental Implants are an efficient solution to cracked or missing teeth.
If you have heard about dental implants, you may be confused by the various types of implants offered. Full implants, mini implants and implant retained dentures are all terms used in implant dentistry. What they all share in common is the use of metal posts that are implanted through the gums to support one or more artificial teeth. How many implants are needed to support the teeth depends on the type of implants. Different types of implants work in different situations. If someone does not have enough jaw bone to support full implants, they may be able to get a different type of implants. Some types of implants use as few as four implants to replace all the teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.
The metal used in dental implants is titanium, which is one of the strongest metals in the world. There does have to be a certain amount of bone under the gum to support an implant. Bone loss is natural after teeth come out, so someone who has been missing teeth for many years may not have enough bone left for implants. Successful implants will fuse to the bone and become a permanent part of the body. After healing, the top of the titanium posts are exposed above the gums, and then artificial teeth are attached. These teeth are permanent and are cared for with brushing and flossing like natural teeth.
An alternative type of implants involves just four posts that support an entire arch of teeth. These are permanent implants, and often are suitable for people who do not have enough bone left for full implants.
Implant-supported dentures, sometimes called mini implants, support removable dentures so that there is no need for denture adhesives. Implants are the best support for removable dentures available.
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All implant procedures are surgical and require that a patient be in good health. Some health conditions like diabetes may make it less likely that implants will succeed. Smoking also decreases the chances of implant success.
The process of getting dental implants can take several months to a year to fully complete. Implants cost more than removable dentures, but they are permanent tooth replacements that are second only to natural teeth.
If you are interested in the possibility of getting dental implants, you will need to have a consultation and full dental exam. You should bring as much information as possible about your personal health and family health history, along with information about any medications you take. Your journey towards implants begins with an exchange of information between you and the dentist, and if the decision to proceed with implants is made, you will together design a plan to restore your teeth and smile to full-functioning good health.