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An Introduction to Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is secured or ‘implanted’ in the jawbone. Dental services Oklahoma city places the type of dental implant most commonly used today, called a root-form endosseous implant. This form of an implant is very much like a natural tooth, in that a titanium post is inserted into the bone of the jaw. Eventually, the jawbone accepts this titanium post and fuses with it. This is called osseointegration; the tooth is now completely secure within the jaw like a natural tooth.

Dental implants can replace several individual teeth, or they can support a prosthesis, like a denture. The denture prosthesis secured by titanium posts is an innovative procedure to immobilize, primarily, a lower denture. Lower dentures tend to be difficult for some wearers to integrate, as they can be loose and unstable.

Dental implants feel and look very natural, often an improvement over conventional dentures. However, there are some criteria that need to be met before a person is a candidate for dental implants.

Primarily, a good candidate would:

 

  • Have a mature jawbone.

 

  • Have enough bone mass to secure the implant, or be willing to commit to the time and expense of bone grafting. Often older people’s jawbones have lost bone mass, making them poor candidates.

 

  • Have good oral health.

 

  • Not have health conditions such as diabetes that would interfere with the healing process.

 

The process of dental implanting would depend on the type of implant and the condition of the jawbone. All dental implants take time, and a candidate must be willing to commit to that. The surgery is staged, and involves a number of procedures. The goal of implanting is for the new teeth to fuse tightly with the jawbone and create a solid, stable support system for chewing.

Usually, the surgical procedure for implants is a three-step process. It is usually performed in the dentist’s office, and local anesthesia is administered. Complicated implanting, such as bone grafting, will require more procedures than this three-step process.

The first stage of dentistry involves ‘planting’ the titanium ‘root’ into the jawbone. This is planted flush with the gum line and has no artificial tooth attached to it. This way, the implant can integrate into the bone without stress.

After a time of bone growth, the dentist will check the titanium post for optimum integration into the jaw. At this point a projection penetrating from the post to the outer jaw called an abutment, is added.

The third stage provides the final restoration, the artificial tooth.

Dental implants look like natural and beautiful teeth. Success rates are above 90% for most implants, and most people are very pleased with them.

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