When replacing a permanent tooth that has been lost or extracted, patients have many options. Of all of the choices, though, dental implants offer Tulsa patients a host of advantages over the alternatives. Dental implants are more stable, durable, functional and aesthetically pleasing than other methods like bridges and dentures.
Many aspects of the unique structural design of dental implants contribute to the devices’ success. Implants, which are titanium screw-like structures that are inserted into the jaw bone, replicate the root of a biological tooth. A small post sits atop the implant, and that post anchors the synthetic replacement crown that fills in for the missing tooth.
Because implants are made of titanium, they are able to fuse with the bone. That titanium is compatible with the body’s biochemistry, facilitating the osseointegration process. The implant’s structure not only makes the appliance stable and unlikely to shift or move out of place, it also helps to shore up the jawbone.
In the absence of a missing tooth’s root, the jawbone will atrophy over time because no structure is present to hold it in place. This erosion can put other nearby teeth at risk for being lost, as well. However, because the implant serves as an anchor, dental implants prevent this outcome.
The implant’s structure provides the patient with other functional benefits. For example, because the replacement tooth is stable, patients rarely need to switch to a soft diet. Nearly all chewing functionality is preserved with implants. Similarly, patients do not need to add any steps to their oral hygiene routines. Implants can be brushed and flossed just like the other teeth.
Dental implants also do the best job of mimicking the appearance of a biological tooth. Dentures can be obvious and an artificial crown held in place as part of a fixed permanent bridge can stand out from the rest of the smile.
Dr. Mark Massaro is a Tulsa, OK dental professional dedicated to General, Family & Cosmetic Dentistry such as Dental Exams, Cleanings, X-rays, Smile Makeovers, Zoom Teeth Whitening, Lumineers, Crowns, & more.