Many of us know that healthy teeth and gums ensure a better quality of life. With good teeth and gums, we can eat a diverse diet, speak more clearly, and just feel better in general – especially when we smile. However, the importance of our teeth and gums goes even farther than that, and this is why implant dentistry has become such an important area of modern dentistry. It is also why Old Milton Dental in Alpharetta, Georgia makes dental implants available.
What Are Dental Implants?
The human tooth is made of two different regions – the roots and the crown. The crown is what does the chewing and what we take care of each day when we brush and floss the teeth. The roots are tucked into the soft, gum tissue and hold the tooth firmly in place. They attach to the jawbone and have blood vessels and nerves, which is why we experience pain if a tooth is damaged or is undergoing some sort of decay or infection.
When we are forced to lose an adult tooth, the crown and roots are removed, leaving a space behind. This allows the remaining teeth to shift a bit, and this can cause everything from chipped teeth and uneven bite to neck and jaw pain. The loss of the tooth also causes the bone of the jaw to atrophy and even weaken, putting the health of nearby teeth and gums at risk.
Dental implants come to the rescue by using the same two-part design as natural teeth. An anchor (usually made of titanium) is inserted into the jaw. It “osseointegrates” or bonds with the bone and helps it to remain healthy while also providing a very solid base for the new “crown”.
How Is It Done?
Your dentist will perform implant dentistry in two stages – the first is to insert the anchor and wait for it to bond to the jaw. This takes around three months, or more. Then a new crown or bridge (or in some cases dentures) are mounted to the firmly set anchor. You can then use this just as you did the natural tooth, getting cleanings once or twice per year, regular checkups, and letting the dentist know of any problems or changes.
Dental implants and implant dentistry are wonderful for restorative treatments, but also ideal for cosmetic needs too. If you have lost a permanent tooth, you will want to speak with your dentist and discuss implants as a wonderfully comfortable, safe, and long-term solution.