In simple terms, dental implants can be defined as a permanent replacement of the missing tooth. These are usually made of titanium. The implant is cylindrical in shape and it is placed into the job done by experienced periodontist using a complex procedure. Dental implants are hugely popular in UK as well as Europe.
To understand the structure of a dental implant, you need to first understand the structure of your teeth.
Your tooth is made up of two separate parts. The first part is the root of the tooth that lies under the gum line. The root keeps the tooth fixed to the jawbone. Second part of your natural tooth is the crown that is the white visible part above your gums.
A dental implant is made up of three different parts.
First part is the anchor made of titanium that serves as the foundation of the implant. This piece is surgically implanted into the jawbone. Second part is the abutment that connects the implant and the crown or denture. The third piece is the visible part in the form of denture or crown. Choice between these depends on your own preference as well as your oral health.
Titanium is preferred as it is biocompatible, strong and highly durable. Titanium also fuses extremely well with the jawbone and does not cause any problems in the future. Other materials such as zirconium may be used in the future but for now, titanium is the preferred choice of experts.
The two types of implants are called Endosteal and Subperiosteal.
Endosteal is the most common type of implant. In this procedure, the titanium implant is fixed to the jawbone and crown is fixed on to it with the help of cylinders, blades and screws. A single implant holds one single artificial tooth.
Subperiodental implant is used for people who do not have enough jawbone for placement of implant and do not want to rebuild the whole bone structure from scratch. In this procedure, the implant is placed on the top of the jawbone.
The implant is a good choice for anyone who has good oral health. The only condition for these implants is that there is enough structure in the bone for putting the implants.
A general rule of thumb is that anybody who is good for dental extraction can receive these implants. However, the final decision should be taken by you in with the help of advice given by your dentist.
One of the biggest advantages of these implants is that these look just like your natural teeth. These are also superior to dentures and bridges and you will never feel that you have an artificial tooth in your mouth.
Another advantage of implants is that the dentist does not need to anchor the artificial teeth to the healthy teeth in case of implants as the implants are supported by jawbone.
These are extremely durable and may last you a lifetime. You won’t lose them like dentures and you won’t need to replace these like bridges.
While the periodontist has advised you that you are fit to receive a dental implant, he or she will create a complete treatment plant for you.
It is important to keep in mind that placing dental implants is a long procedure and can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months as time is needed for healing and new bone growth. Once the dental implant has been placed in the jawbone, you will have to wait for several months for healing. Once healing is complete, an abutment is placed which is followed by a crown.