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Dental Implants are Replacement Tooth Roots.
Dental implants allow replacement of the entire missing tooth, which was never before possible. Implant supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth.
The most common type of dental implants are root-form implants, which basically means that they are replacement, or substitute tooth roots, used to replace natural tooth roots in areas of the mouth where teeth are missing. These dental implants are made of surgical grade titanium compounds. There are no known allergies to this metal and it has been proven to be very safe as an implant material.
The reason it is so important to replace the tooth root as well as the visible part of the tooth (crown) is that natural tooth roots preserve the bone.
When teeth are missing, the bone that previously supported those teeth melts away, or deteriorates. This process is called bone resorption. The impact of deteriorating bone from complete tooth loss includes collapsed facial profiles, lost lip support, increased wrinkles around the mouth and the appearance of a pointed nose and chin that are too close together.
However, the bone can be preserved by replacing missing tooth roots with dental implants. Since the bone actually forms a strong bond to the implants, they can serve the same functions as natural tooth roots: a strong foundation for biting and chewing, and stimulation for the bone to hold it in place.
There are actually two phases to implant dentistry:
- Phase 1: With great care, implants are placed into the jawbone. The gum tissues are then closed and the healing phase begins. This may take anywhere from 3-6 months. Sometimes , the implants may be put to use immediately.
- Phase 2: Creating and fixing the new tooth or teeth to the implant structure. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or your dentures.