Dental implants consist of artificial implant root and a replacement prosthetic tooth piece. The root is made of a bioactive material metal called titanium. Titanium is a bioactive material that will bond with the human body. During the healing process, the implant and bone will fuse together. An implant may be shaped like cylinders, posts or screws. The prosthetic tooth-piece may be made of porcelain or a resin-type composite.
Dental implants have a cosmetic appeal. However, their functionality should be highlighted. One or more missing teeth can allow the remaining teeth to shift, creating possible bite and alignment problems. The socket of the missing tooth may be more sensitive; food debris tends to collect in the socket, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Ideally, anyone considering a dental implant should be in good health, as a minor surgical procedure will cause bruising, bleeding, and discomfort. People with chronic diseases like diabetes (which affects healing process) can be good candidates for dental implants. It may just mean a little advance preparation is necessary. In addition, overall dental health is important for gum disease can increase the risk of infection, and weak bone in the jaw can affect the success of the procedure.
The procedure begins with a local anesthetic, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may also be used. The implant is inserted into the jawbone with special instruments. Any bleeding is controlled with gauze and direct pressure. The healing process takes three to six months, during which the implant will become firmly bonded to the jawbone. Most patients wear a temporary appliance during the healing period to allow them to eat without dislodging the implant. Once healing is complete, the dentist will attach the permanent prosthetic tooth and shape it to fit.
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