Dental implants are posts made of titanium which are implanted into the jaw bone. The bone grows around and integrates with the post, creating a replacement “root”. This provides a structure around which a restoration can be built to replace a single tooth, or to which a bridge or denture can be affixed to replace multiple teeth.
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How do Dental Implants Work?
Titanium is biocompatible with the bone and gum tissue, meaning it can be integrated into the body with no adverse effects. The bone of the jaw actually bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth and stimulating the bone so it remains healthy. The presence of the post in the jawbone prevents the bone from dissolving.
The implant acts as an anchor for the final restoration. Once titanium and the jawbone have successfully integrated and the gums have healed, a crown that is designed to look, feel, and function just like the original tooth is used to cover the post and the restoration is complete.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are the preferred option for tooth replacement for the following reasons:
- They can be used to replace any individual tooth or series of teeth
- They can also be used to support bridgework or dentures
- They prevent the loss of bone in the jaw, preserving the facial structure
- They can last the rest of a patient’s lifetime if cared for properly
The Dental Implant Process
For some patients, particularly those who have had missing teeth for some time and experienced bone loss, prep work for the implants may need to be performed first. This can involve ridge augmentation or bone grafts to provide a strong foundation for the implant, or even a sinus lift to make room for an implant and strengthen the implant site.
The actual placement of dental implants normally involves two surgical procedures. First, the titanium posts will be implanted in the jawbone, and three to six months allowed to go by while the bone and post bond. Second, the post is uncovered and a restoration fabricated that looks, feels, and functions like the original tooth.
For more information about our practice or to request an office tour, contact our Salina, KS, dental office at 785-825-7197 or book a consult or an appointment online.Schedule Online