Dental Implants: The Ultimate Solution for Missing Teeth
What are dental implants?
With the core technology dating back to 1952, dental implants are now the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. Essentially, there’s a fixture implanted in the jawbone, acting as an artificial root, to which a replacement tooth or dental bridge is attached.
The implant fuses with the bone of the jaw, creating a permanent bond called osseointegration. Most implants use titanium, which is biologically inert, so the body doesn’t see the implant as a foreign substance. Dental implants, which are offered at our practice in San Antonio, TX, have a very high success rate and offer a long-lasting tooth replacement solution that requires maintenance similar to that of your natural teeth.
How do dental implants work?
Compared to dentures and bridges, the two other main methods of replacing lost teeth, dental implants provide a more stable base for attaching either crowns or removable fixtures. Not all tooth-loss situations can be addressed effectively with bridges or dentures.
Implants are beneficial because they provide more options and minimize the impact on surrounding teeth. Adjacent teeth that support partial dentures often suffer damage, because these support teeth are ground down and capped when used with bridges. Implants can be used to restore a single tooth, become part of a bridge, restore an entire jaw, or they can be used to stabilize a denture.
Your gums and jawbone must be healthy to receive implants. There are two implant procedures recognized as safe by the American Dental Association. Which method you receive depends on your tooth loss situation.
Endosteal implants are surgically placed directly into your jaw, resembling a screw directly inserted into the bone. When the gum tissue heals, the post of the implant that remains above the gum is then used to mount individual teeth or a bridge.
Subperiosteal implants use a metal frame that’s fitted around the bone of your jaw below the gum tissue. This frame affixes with the bone of the jaw as the gums heal. Posts similar to those of endosteal implants protrude through the gums and tooth restorations attach in the same manner.
Do dental implants have any potential problems after the procedure?
There’s a risk of a condition called peri-implantitis, an inflammation of the gum and bone around the implant. It’s typically due to a bacterial infection or excessive biting force on the implant. Regular home care and normal dental checkups help keep this issue from developing.