So, You're Getting Dental Implants: A Quick Walkthrough Of What Happens To You
When your dentist informs you that you need dental implants, you probably have a lot of questions about how they will be inserted, what they are made of and how they will help support your bone structure. So to help you gain a better understand, here the answers to some important questions about dental implants:
What Are They Made Of? -- Dental implants are made from titanium, which is one of the world's strongest metals. Titanium is also resistant to rust and it doesn't pose a health risk in the same way as the mercury fillings that were formerly used to repair cavities. Implants are shaped like tiny rods with a rounded top that are inserted into the bone of your missing tooth. Implants are the foundation upon which a dentist will place a crown (artificial tooth).
What Is the Insertion Process? -- Dental implants are a two-step process. The first step is for your dentist to insert the implant into the bone of your missing tooth. It takes three to four months for your natural bone to grow around the implant and form a strong anchor. The second step involves the mounting of a crown on top of the implant.
This is a permanent crown that is shaped exactly like your old tooth and is made from an impression taken of your mouth. Most crowns are made of porcelain, although you can also choose crowns made from gold, which are more durable.
Is Everyone a Good Candidate For an Implant? -- Although many patients will qualify for an implant, you must have sufficient bone left under the missing tooth. If your dentist determines that your bone isn't enough to sustain an implant, then he may opt to perform a bone graft, in which he takes bone from another part of your body and grafts it in your mouth. Bone grafts are costly, however, and will add to the expense of obtaining an implant.
Are Implants Permanent? -- Yes, implants are designed to remain rooted in your bone for the rest of your life. However, there is no guarantee that your crown will be as durable as your implant, so years later, your dentist may have to make you a new crown to fit over the implant. Unlike dentures, implants are inserted into the bone of your jaw, which makes them much more stable, and because they have crowns, implants are not exposed to food and drink that could degrade the metal.
For more information, contact a professional like Dr. John Michalopoulos.