Tooth Root Substitutes
When people lose permanent teeth due to accident, injury, disease or extraction, dental implants can be a secure, functional replacement option. They're superior to many other choices because they actually restore comfort and appearance, yet remain functional for the long run. What's more, they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, thus maintaining the integrity of your overall dental structures. Since they are permanently, surgically anchored in the jawbone, implants' stability and permanence restore your ability to speak and eat normally, supply support to facial musculature, and eliminate the inconveniences and discomforts of ill-fitting prostheses. And after nearly 35 years of use, they have a 90-95% proven success rate in appropriately chosen cases.
So what's an implant anyhow? It's simply a small titanium post, inserted surgically into the jawbone below the gum surface at the location of the missing tooth. As the bone bonds to the post, it forms a secure foundation onto which your restoration, or artificial teeth, are then attached and shaped to match your existing teeth. The number of teeth you're missing will determine the best kind of restoration for your case: one or two missing teeth indicates a simple crown restoration; two or more missing teeth require permanent fixed bridgework; a complete replacement set of upper or lower teeth requires choosing between a removable vs. a fixed prosthesis, which in turn determines how many implants per jaw are required.
Limiting factors may include poor general health; inadequate bone structure; diseased gums; chronic health problems such as clenching, bruxism, or systemic diseases; and unhealthy habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Implant location also impacts their success: lower front jaw implants may be up to 95% successful, while side or rear placements only 90% successful.
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