Anatomy of Dental Implants
More than two-thirds of Americans between 35 and 44 have lost at least once tooth. Tooth loss can threaten bite stability, oral function and smile confidence. Replacing these lost teeth with dental implants can preserve proper tooth and jaw alignment, enable patients to eat and speak comfortably and enhance their smiles.
Dental implants are made of three separate parts. The implant itself is essentially a titanium screw that is designed to fuse with the jawbone and replace the missing tooth’s root. An abutment is attached to the titanium screw. This abutment is used to attach the prosthetic tooth to the implant. The prosthesis is the final part of the dental implant. A single dental implant is generally used with a porcelain crown to replace a single tooth. When multiple teeth are being restored, dental implants can be used to support individual dental crowns, dental bridges or even dentures.
The unique design of dental implants makes them a healthier alternative to the other types of dental prostheses available today. Dental bridges require the alteration of healthy tooth structure, and dentures tend to irritate gum tissue and slip uncomfortably, which can affect diet and speech. Bone loss can occur with both bridges and dentures due to the lack of tooth root, but because dental implants use an artificial root design, they can stimulate and support healthy bone growth.