One of the great things about dental implants in State College is the way they can be tailored to meet a patient’s specific needs. A great example of what we’re talking about is a single tooth implant, sometimes called a “tooth by tooth implant.” This approach uses a separate lightweight titanium fixture for each tooth to be restored. This avoids the limitations posed by traditional forms of restoration such as dentures and adhesive bridgework. Let’s see how dental implants work.
The Problem with Traditional Approaches to Smile Restoration
A healthy natural tooth is made up of two different sections that work as one unit. These are the crown, the portion of the tooth visible above the gum line, and the root, the portion of the tooth beneath the gum line.
Both root and crown must be in good shape for the tooth to function correctly. But many things can affect the root’s health, including cavities, enamel erosion, or physical trauma. When damage occurs, the effect is like damaging the foundation of the building. The rest of the structure will soon come tumbling down.
Traditional forms of treatment such as dentures and bridgework do a good job of restoring the crowns of the missing teeth. Unfortunately, they do not address the root. This makes them of limited value in treating the problem. Dental implants were created to overcome this limitation.
The Closest Thing to Fully Restored Natural Teeth
At the heart of every dental implant is a small, lightweight titanium fixture embedded in the patient’s jaw beneath the gum line. It plays much the same role as the root of a natural tooth. In fact, properly placed dental implants actually bond with the recipient’s bones through a natural process called osseointegration.
This gives the restoration the same strength and security as a healthy natural tooth. It frees the patient from having to apply messy pastes or creams (as with dentures) while ensuring that the restoration will never come loose on its own. With implants, there is no need to give up your favorite foods, avoid healthy activities, or worry about embarrassment during social or professional situations.
Easy to Live with & Easy to Care for
Dental implants are remarkably easy to care for. You should continue to brush and floss your remaining natural teeth, minimize consumption of sugar, alcohol, and simple starches, and see your dental professional for periodic exams and cleanings.
Your implant dentist will probably want to examine the restoration once a year or so to make sure it remains in top shape. It’s also important to avoid harmful substances such as tobacco and illicit drugs, both of which can have devastating effects on your health.
Implants are not the best solution for everyone. Only your dentist in State College can recommend the right approach for your needs. Make an appointment to see him or her soon. You’ll soon have plenty of reason to smile.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Devlin is a skilled general, cosmetic, and restorative dentist whose range of expertise includes dental implants. He has been practicing dentistry for more than 25 years. You can reach his office online or by calling (814) 238-3553.