Dental implants are an alternative to dentures or traditional bridges that many people find preferable. Composed of titanium, the implants are designed to last for decades. If you are thinking about getting implants to replace one or all of your teeth, it pays to understand how they work. Here is some background that will help you understand dental implants better.
An individual dental implant is a small post shaped like a screw. It’s designed to fit into the socket where a real tooth once resided. The most common type is referred to as an endosteal implant. That simply means it’s designed to fit directly into the jawbone. Other implants are known as sub-periosteal and may be placed directly on the gum but not embedded in the jaw. The latter design is helpful for people with weakened bones, including those who would prefer to not go through procedures designed to reinforce the jawbone.
How Is the Implant Inserted?
Individual dental implants are inserted into the sockets formerly occupied by real teeth. The dental professional will deaden the gum and likely use some sort of sedation to keep the patient comfortable. Once inserted, the professional will ensure the implant is stable before moving forward with the remainder of the procedure.
The Cap or Crown
After making sure the dental implant is firmly in position, the dental professional will install a temporary cap or crown. This will remain in place while the gum heals. In the interim, a customized permanent cap is created. The patient will return at a later date to receive the permanent crown. Once that’s done, the patient can begin to really enjoy the benefits of having dental implants.
Do Implants Work as Well as Real Teeth?
The new dental implants will allow the patient to do anything that can be done with healthy teeth. It’s possible to chew just about anything the patient wants. As with real teeth, care must be taken to avoid chewing on hard substances that could crack or otherwise damage the crown.