Dental implants are artificial teeth attached to a titanium screw that is implanted into your jaw. Implants are made to look and function almost exactly the same way as your natural tooth would.
Natural teeth consist of two parts: the root and the crown. The root extends into your jaw and anchors through the gum tissue to hold it in place in the jawbone. The crown is the bony white portion you can see.
When you experience tooth loss you lose not only the crown, but also the root. To replace a natural tooth with a dental implant the first step is to replace the root. The dental implant essentially becomes your new root. The dental implant itself is a tiny specialized titanium screw. Once implanted, this screw fuses with the natural bone and becomes part of your jaw.
While natural teeth consist of two parts, an implant is made of three parts. The first part is the implant itself, which acts as the root of the tooth. The second part is the abutment, a permanent connector that will hold the new tooth or teeth; this part can be removed by your doctor, if necessary. Lastly, the third part is the crown, which is the part of the tooth you are used to seeing.
Depending on the density of your bone it will take from two to six months for you to be able to have the final crown attached to your implant. In the meantime you'll wear a temporary crown(s) for the tooth or teeth that are being replaced. These crowns will be put on the same day your implants are placed, and you will leave the office that day with a bright new smile.
Dental implants come in various shapes and sizes and have different types of surfaces. The actual implant selection will depend on a variety of factors related to your specific treatment needs and the most appropriate one(s) will be used.
After your healing period is completed a support post called an abutment will be placed into the implant itself and then a new crown will be placed on top and those will be a part of your new permanent smile. Your permanent crown will look and act just like your natural teeth, and you will be able to treat them as such, eating whatever foods you like and never having to worry about them slipping or coming loose.
If all of your teeth are missing and need to be replaced a variety of implant options are available to support the replacement teeth.
There are many benefits to getting a dental implant versus dentures or other more low-tech methods. Some of these include:
A dental implant is there for a lifetime. Barring any outside damage or extensive oral disease, your dental implant will be set for the rest of your life.
When force is applied to a normal tooth it is transmitted through the root and into a jaw, the way it's supposed to be. The same is true of your implant. Force is transmitted through the implant and into the jaw. With other methods of tooth replacement the force is transmitted to your adjacent teeth, which can cause damage and eventual tooth loss.
Implants do not require your adjacent teeth to be ground down or damaged in any way to place them.
Other methods of tooth replacement don't help to prevent bone loss, which can cause you to look older than you would otherwise. Dental implants can actually strengthen the local bone and help keep adjacent teeth from being lost so that you can keep a more youthful appearance for longer.
Every other form of tooth replacement requires you to return to the dentist regularly for adjustments to your appliance. With dental implants the implants are YOUR TEETH, so no adjustments are needed. You should still visit your dentist regularly however, to maintain the health of your gums and any remaining teeth!
Dentures, flippers, and bridges all contribute to the accelerated loss of adjacent teeth. Due to shifting, transmitted force, and additional bone loss, you can end up losing more teeth than you would when you choose dental implants. Because dental implants function in the same way your natural teeth do, and help to maintain the existing bone mass, you have a lower risk of losing your remaining natural teeth when you choose dental implants as your tooth-loss solution.
The Farber Center For Periodontics and Dental Implants has years of experience with dental implants, and our expert staff and technicians have helped hundreds of patients all across Long Island to improve their smiles and help them get back to living their lives in just one day!