When considering how to replace missing teeth, patients may be concerned that their prosthetic appliances will slip up at an inopportune time or that their replacement teeth will be noticeably artificial. These patients should explore dental implants, which offer more security than standard appliances due to their unique structural characteristics.
How Dental Implants Differ From Conventional Tooth Replacement Approaches
Unlike standard dentures or fixed dental bridges, dental implants are structurally complete. The implant is a small titanium cylinder that is inserted into the patient’s jaw by an oral surgeon. Because titanium is biocompatible, the bone is able to form a strong bond with the dental implant.
That process of osseointegration renders the implant as a permanent fixture in the patient’s jaw. As such, it functions similarly to a biological tooth’s root. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement method that consists of both a root-like structure and a crown. That unique nature confers numerous advantages over conventional appliances.
Benefits Of Dental Implants
The connection between bone and implant makes an implant-supported crown or appliance far more stable than a conventional appliance. The replacement tooth (or teeth) is securely attached to the jaw, so it won’t slip out of place when the patient is trying to smile or talk. This typically gives patients more peace of mind when they grin or chat with a friend.
Additionally, dental implants anchor the bone in the same way that the roots of biological teeth do. Therefore, the bone is less likely to erode and its shape remains constant. Implant-supported appliances retain their fit while conventional appliances become looser as the jaw’s contour changes.
In the case of single tooth replacement, dental implants are able to stand alone without impacting the surrounding teeth. A fixed dental bridge requires that healthy enamel be removed from adjoining teeth to create space for crowns to be placed to secure the pontic (artificial crown). That process can compromise the integrity of those teeth and make them more susceptible to damage.
We encourage patients who want to smile confidently after tooth loss to consider dental implants as a treatment option. Schedule an evaluation at Permian Basin Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to learn more about this intervention.