What Dental Implants Are and Why They Are the Best Tooth Replacement

Over the past decade, dental implants have become increasingly popular as a tooth replacement option. Many people are now familiar with them, but few know the details of what implants are and how they work. Modern dental implants are without question the best way to replace missing teeth. Let’s find out why.

What is a dental implant?

In a nutshell, a dental implant is a screw inserted into jaw bone with a crown attached on top. Once in place, the screw undergoes a natural phenomenon known as “osseointegration,” or fusion with the bone. The top of the screw is flush with the gum line. Once a crown is attached to the top of the screw, it looks, feels, and functions just like a real tooth.

Why are dental implants best for replacing missing teeth?

There are numerous, time-tested options for replacing teeth, but none can compare to dental implants.

Bridges, for example, require irreversible drilling of other natural teeth—something not necessary with implants. And because bridges are dependent on natural teeth, the concern of tooth decay is still present, especially since bridges are inherently more difficult to keep clean. Implants, on the other hand, are entirely synthetic and cannot decay (although they should be brushed and floss like a real tooth).

The contrast between dentures and implants is even more stark. Dentures can be uncomfortable and can severely limit a person’s ability to speak, chew, and even swallow comfortably. Implants are far less invasive and do not require any sort of “getting used to” like a denture does.

Other Uses of Dental Implants

Dental implants are also extremely flexible. Some dentures can be made to snap onto strategically placed implants, making them exceedingly more stable and functional. Other treatments, such as the “All-on-Four” option, involve four dental implants onto which an arch of strong and aesthetic crowns is placed.

Dental implant technology continues to improve and new uses are continually being developed. Whether you are missing one or 32 teeth, dental implants can help restore the beauty and function of your smile.

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Melina has written for several journals and is a non practicing dentist.

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