Missing teeth are not only unattractive, but they can lead to further problems with your dental health. Thankfully these problems can be averted with dental implants – artificial teeth that can replace one or more missing teeth. The implants are secured in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or to support a bridge.
Much stronger than your natural teeth, dental implants are longer lasting as they are not subject to disease, and thus decay. Placed beneath the gum, the dental implant - made from bio-compatible titanium – will be accepted by your natural bone, which will grow and integrate around the implant. This creates a firm base on which your new teeth will be secured.
Dental implants can be better than a tooth-supported bridge, as they do not rely on the neighboring teeth for support – and Dr. Yeary often recommends them as an excellent alternative to dentures, as they are permanent and look as natural as your real teeth. Implants also can support and provide more secure placement of your dentures.
A dental implant consists of three parts:
- the implant itself (bio-compatible titanium screw)
- the abutment (allows the crown – your replacement tooth – to sit on the implant)
- a crown (your replacement tooth, made of porcelain and matched to your natural teeth)
- If you are experiencing severe pain while eating, an intense heightened sensitivity to hot or cold, tooth pain that keeps you from sleeping or wakes you up at night – or if you notice your gums swelling at the site of a tooth you feel may be infected – root canal therapy may be your only option for relief.