Titanium Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore one or more missing teeth. Implants have a stability and comfort that makes them worth the time and expense for a lot of patience. Implants are definitely one of the more costly restorative options depending on your individual needs, they may be the best way to go. Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants so it is important to consult your dentist and understand what options are available to you. Patients that cannot withstand implant surgery may need to consider a more traditional alternative.

A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root. Implants are often fabricated using titanium and are a popular choice for both dentists and patients alike. The most popular material used to fabricate dental implants is titanium, though some patients may need or prefer to have their implant made with zirconia. Titanium is a material that has great biocompatibility, enabling it to integrate with the jawbone and it is resistant to corrosion. Titanium is non-toxic and non-allergenic, and even though it is a metal, titanium allergies are extremely rare. A protective layer of titanium dioxide is used to coat the implant to make the implant resistant to chemical and water erosion.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is made up of three parts: the implant, an abutment, and the implant restoration. The restoration that is affixed to the implant can be an individual crown, a multiple tooth bridge, or an implant-supported denture. The actual implant is a titanium post which is screwed directly into the jaw bone. A small portion is left protruding through the gum tissue and allows the abutment to be attached to the implant, acting as a joint between the implant and the restoration. Once the abutment is in place, the dental prosthesis is cemented or screwed onto place on the implant.

How are dental implants placed?

If your doctor believes that you would be a candidate for a dental implant, they will refer you to either a periodontist or oral surgeon for evaluation. This evaluation will include x-rays of the area to be treated which will allow the doctor to analyze your bone level to make sure your implant is successful. If they find that you do not have enough bone structure, they may advise that you have a bone graft to prepare the area to receive the implant. This allows your doctor to ensure that the implant will be able to integrate with the bone tissue and be successful.

If you are otherwise healthy and are cleared to have implant placement surgery, your doctor will let your dentist know and will proceed with your surgery. Before they begin, your doctor will administer local anesthetic to numb the area being treated and then make a small incision in the gum tissue. They will then drill a small hole into your jawbone and screw the implant into place. A temporary abutment, or healing cap, is attached to the implant to protect it from damage and infection as you heal.

The overall healing time for implant surgery can be up to six months, depending on how well your implant integrates with the jawbone. Once your doctor determines that you are fully healed and ready for the next step, your dentist will take over to restore the implant with your fake tooth or teeth!

For patients who are interested in dental implants to replace missing teeth, it is important to speak with your dentist and share your medical history as well as lifestyle and habits with your dentist to make sure that dental implants are the best choice for you.

Zirconia Dental Implants

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