After getting dental implants in Phoenix, you’ve been able to enjoy life to the fullest again. No longer do you have to worry about gaps in your mouth limiting what you can eat or making it harder to pronounce certain words. But you can’t help but wonder: how is this possible? What does an implant need to serve as an effective tooth replacement? Learn more about the parts and materials that make up a dental implant – and how each one helps create a better smile.
The Root of It All: The Implant Post
By itself, the dental implant isn’t a replacement tooth. It’d be more accurate to say it serves as the root for the restoration it supports. The small, screw-like posts are surgically inserted into the jaw and join with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Because of this, they can stop the jawbone from weakening by providing the stimulation from chewing that usually comes from natural teeth; this helps keep the overall structure of your face looking younger.
Usually the posts will be made out of titanium, a metal that’s been used for dental restorations since the 1950s. It’s very biocompatible and can bond with the bones very well. The durable material also ensures that your implants will last a long time – possibly the rest of your life!
Although rare, some patients might be allergic to titanium. In these cases, zirconia can be used instead; these types of implants are new, but more and more dentists are using them.
The Connector: The Abutment
Once your implant posts have successfully fused to your jawbone, an abutment can be attached. This is basically the device that connects your dental implant to your tooth restoration. An abutment ensures your new teeth are held firmly in place; no need to worry about slipping like you would with traditional dentures!
Abutments can be made of titanium, zirconia or other materials selected for their strength and hygienic properties.
Your New Smile: The Restoration
Depending on how many teeth need to be replaced, implant posts might support a crown (one tooth missing), a dental bridge (multiple teeth in a row missing) or a denture (an entire arch missing). A restoration supported by implants will let you eat a wider variety of foods and tend to have a longer lifespan.
While some restorations can be made of precious metals such as gold, nowadays dentists can use ceramic materials such as porcelain in order to create a natural-looking smile that’s been customized just for you!
Don’t be afraid to ask about the various steps and materials involved in the implant process; it’s important to be confident about your treatment. Remember: dental implants can make a big difference in your life, so do what you can to make sure that they’re successful!
About the Practice
At Smile Fitness Dental Center, Drs. Douglas M. Gordon, Bernard M. Florento and Joseph A. Santoro have a shared goal of making sure every patient receives high-quality dental care that exceeds their expectations. They can combine dental implants with crowns, bridges or dentures to replace any number of missing teeth. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (623) 849-0477.