Bad dental habits, trauma and disease can all lead to tooth loss. Dentures have considerably improved in performing their job of replacing lost teeth, and many patients have fewer problems with failing dentures today than before.
Still, dentures are not the most natural-looking teeth replacements. They typically do not feel or even function as well as real teeth. Fortunately, it is now much easier to get dental implants here in Birmingham.
Unlike dentures, dental implants are typically more natural looking, function practically as well as real teeth and feel as natural too. There are no special cleaning instruments, soaks or adhesives for implants.
You clean them by brushing and flossing and visit your dentist regularly for prophylaxis (dental cleaning), just like you did before.
How Implants Work
An implant is either a cylindrical or a tapered post, or a combination of both. The post is made of a strong material called titanium. The dentist implants a tiny titanium post into your jawbone at the site of the lost tooth.
Your dentist will inform you when to come back for the next phase of the process, which is after your jawbone and gums have healed. This means that the implant has successfully osseointegrated or fused with the bone. Osseointegration ensures the sturdy, long-lasting foundation for your “new” tooth.
Installing the Replacement Tooth
When osseointegration is complete, and the bond between the jawbone and implant is ready, your dentist will place the abutment or connector on top of the titanium post. This abutment serves as the connector between the implant and the replacement tooth.
The tooth replacement then connects to the abutment. Replacement teeth can be an individual tooth, a bridge supported by the titanium implants or dentures (for multiple teeth).
Dentists customise replacement teeth for the patient, so they appear as natural as possible. They are typically stronger and more stable than just dentures, so you can go back to enjoying your teeth as if you did not lose them.
Talk to your dentist about implants to see if you are a good candidate for them.