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Dental Implants

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Anatomy of healthy teeth and tooth dental implant in human dentura. 3d illustration

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are medical devices surgically implanted into the jaw to restore a person’s ability to chew or their appearance. They provide support for artificial (fake) teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. When a tooth is lost due to injury or disease, a person can experience complications such as rapid bone loss, defective speech, or changes to chewing patterns that result in discomfort. Replacing a lost tooth with a dental implant can significantly improve the patient’s quality of life and health. Dental implant systems consist of a dental implant body and dental implant abutment and may also include an abutment fixation screw. The dental implant body is surgically inserted in the jawbone in place of the tooth’s root. The dental implant abutment is usually attached to the implant body by the abutment fixation screw and extends through gums into the mouth to support the attached artificial teeth.

Why are Dental Implants Important

Other than tooth replacement, the most important reason for implant placement is preservation of the underlying bone. Whenever a tooth falls off or extracted, the bone in its vicinitystarts resorbing as it is not in function. The progressive resorption ofthe bone reduces its height. This becomes even more significant in multiple teeth loss. Extra-orally, the facial structure and muscles gets collapsed giving older appearance. Dental implants placement preserves the resorption further or rather slow down the process. Along with artificial crown placement, it can even restore the missing gum portion providing the proper contours in the cheek area.

Dental implants can significantly improve the quality of life and the health of a person who needs them. However, complications may sometimes occur. Complications can occur soon after dental implant placement or much later. Some complications result in implant failure (usually defined as implant looseness or loss). Implant failure can result in the need for another surgical procedure to fix or replace the implant system.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Restores the ability to chew
  • Restores cosmetic appearance
  • Helps keep the jawbone from shrinking due to bone loss
  • Preserves the health of the surrounding bone and gums
  • Helps keep adjacent (nearby) teeth stable
  • Improves quality of life