What To Know About Dental Implants

As dental implants become more common, many more people are interested in learning more about them. Read on and find out more.

What is a Dental Implant? 

When you hear the term dental implant, you are probably envisioning a tooth filling a missing space. However, implants have several parts that all work to make the top part, the crown, more stable. Most of what makes an implant so wonderful are under the surface of the gum.

The implant consists of the post, which is often shaped like a screw, made of titanium, and is the part that is surgically inserted into the gums and jawbone. Attached to the post is the abutment, which is a small metal topper for the post that allows attachment to the top part, the crown. The crown is a false tooth that is placed on the abutment. You can consider the post and abutment to be like a root and the crown to be like a tooth.

Are You a Good Dental Implant Candidate?

Dental implants can be useful for almost anyone. However, the quality of the bones under the gum is key. Some implant candidates have unstable jawbones. Since the implant post must be firmly attached to the jawbone, the implant can only be performed if a bone graft is performed first. This outpatient procedure must fully heal before the implant surgery can occur. 

However, some patients can have implants even if they lack good bone structure in their jaws. Special implant procedures allow the post to be placed at an angle to resolve the bone tissue. Also, some dentists perform an implants-in-a-day procedure. This type of implant surgery involves using a shorter post. The shorter post does not need to be bonded with the bone as much as the traditional type of implant does. That allows the post, abutment, and crown to be placed all on the same day.

How Many Implants Do You Need?

Dental implants can work as a single tooth solution or an entire mouth. However, many patients choose innovative techniques that combine dental implants with dentures. For those that need an entire upper or lower arch of teeth, implants can anchor dentures. This works by using four or more implants scattered throughout the arch. The dentures are then placed on top of the implants. This type of implant is not removable, but it also doesn't have the palate piece that can interfere with speaking and tasting food.

To learn more about dental implants, speak to your dentist.