The dental field is always developing new and improved ways to keep your mouth in a healthy state. Having missing teeth puts you at a disadvantage in many ways. You can’t eat what you want. You’re embarrassed to smile. And your oral health is affected in various ways. To keep your mouth healthy, dental implants were invented. Although civilization has been experimenting with ways to replace missing teeth since around 600 A.D., implants as we know them have only been around since the 1960s. With dental bridges, and partial dentures available, you may wonder why you need an implant.
What is an Implant?
A dental implant consists of a titanium post which is surgically implanted into your jaw bone where your missing tooth is located. The post fuses with your bone and acts as the original tooth root. Atop the post is an abutment. A fabricated tooth is cemented to the abutment and voilá you have a new tooth that looks, acts, and is just as strong and stable as your original tooth.
Why an Implant?
There are several reasons to choose an implant, one being to keep your other teeth from shifting and tilting to fill the empty space, which can cause malocclusion. Other reasons are to restore your complete chewing function and to restore the aesthetics of your smile. However, the most important reason is that when you’re missing a tooth, your body stops supplying your jawbone with important nutrients that keep it healthy and strong, such as calcium and phosphate. When this happens your jawbone begins to atrophy meaning your bone tissue begins to dissolve. This can cause more serious issues and should be avoided. Once the titanium implant post fuses with your jawbone, your body recognizes it as a tooth root and begins supplying the nutrients your jawbone needs to remain healthy, eliminating bone loss.