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Having missing teeth can also make people feel very self-conscious, and the old-fashioned solution of wearing dentures can make you feel old before your time. As such, dental implants are a fantastic long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. They can remove the pain and discomfort of dentures and give you a new, beautiful smile. Dental implants are effectively replacement roots for your missing teeth. They are made of titanium and are fixed into the bone of your lower or upper jaw to provide an anchor for the new replacement tooth. Dental implants are very strong and durable, so they can last a lifetime if properly looked after.
A dental implant procedure can be quite a lengthy process, requiring several appointments with your dentist. During your first treatment, your dentist will need to put the titanium ‘roots’ in place. Under local anesthetic, the dentist will make an incision in your gum to expose the jawbone where the implant will be placed. A special drill is then used to make a hole for the titanium fixture to sit in. Once the implant root is in place the gums are stitched back up. You will then need to wait 3-6 months for the bone to heal around and bond to the implant. Once the tissue has healed around the implant, your replacement teeth can be fixed into place. You will once again need to have a local anesthetic while your dentist makes another incision into your gum to expose the implant fixture so that your new tooth can be fitted.
If you're missing just one or a few teeth, there may be some alternatives to dentures. One major alternative is dental implants. Implants are devices that are surgically inserted into the jawbone where roots of teeth normally go. Implants look like little titanium screws that are put into the jaw. Crowns or false teeth are then placed at the top of the screw to replace the missing tooth. Dental implants are more permanent and often more comfortable than regular dentures, but people must have healthy gum tissue and adequate bone in order to be a candidate for implants. Talk to your dentist to determine whether dental implants may be a good alternative to dentures or fixed bridges.
Yes...implants have become a great alternative to dentures. Some patients can have implants with crowns on them that appear just like crowned natural teeth. Some patients have dentures that attach and detach from the implants to allow them to easily clean them underneath. Even with implants you have to work to prevent gum disease -- or you will lose the implant just like a tooth!
Dental implants are often called man's way of giving you a third set of teeth. Depending on the quality and quantity of supportive bone present, dental implants are a wonderful alternative to dentures.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.