There are misconceptions in the definitions of dental implants, dentures and bridges. Dentures and bridges replace the crown or the visible portions of a tooth. This replacement can be one tooth, several teeth or an entire arch. This treatment works to recapture some of the lost function experienced when a tooth is missing.
A dental implant replaces a tooth‚Äôs root by implanting it into the jawbone. This procedure offers added permanency and provides a larger range of function to improve the patient‚Äôs quality of life.
Benefits of Implants
The term ‚Äúimplant‚Äù does not refer to the tooth structure or its restoration. In the context of this writing, ‚Äúimplant‚Äù refers to the titanium rod that replaces the root for insertion into the jawbone. This technique is the fundamental component of the procedure to ensure the prosthetic tooth remains over decades.
The titanium rod is biocompatible. This means that the titanium will integrate with the natural structures of the jaw and gums without rejection by the body. The practice of implant dentistry will not be successful without the full integration, known as osseointegration, with the body‚Äôs natural tissue and supportive bone.
The process of a dental implant is the most long-lasting and durable of the replacement options in dentistry. The implant method increases blood flow to the gums and cheeks, provides a stronger biting force and eliminates food restrictions. The most important of the expectations is the offering of an aesthetically-pleasing solution to tooth replacement.
Bone Graft and Dentistry
Bone grafting is common in the practice of implant dentistry. Often, there is not sufficient bone mass in the jaw to support a successful implant. In this case, bone can either be used from another area within the patient‚Äôs body or used from donated bone. This added bone source is attached to the area of the jawbone where support for the implant is needed.
If a patient has been missing teeth for a period of time, then bone grafting is necessary due to natural bone resorption. If a patient practices consistent dental and oral hygiene and has healthy gum tissues, there still may not be sufficient bone volume to support a successful transplant.
There is no correlation between the health of the oral cavity and the density of the jawbone.
The Recovery Process
A successful bone graft will expand the bone volume in the jaw to integrate the implant and hold it in place. During the healing process, it is imperative for the patient to adhere to after-care instructions such as a soft diet, strict oral healthcare and the prohibition of all tobacco products.
Dr. Ken Glass and his team of dental professionals at Pineview Family Dentistry located near you in Prescott, Arizona, are dedicated and highly recommended in serving the dental needs of current and new patients. Please contact Pineview Family Dentistry today for a consultation in dental implants, general and cosmetic dental treatments.