Posted on 12/10/2013 by Dr. Franco
|A dental implant is placed to support a restoration that is designed to take the place of one or more lost teeth.
The implant itself is a small device most often made from titanium. Titanium has been found to be an excellent material for the device for its unique properties that encourage fusing metal to bone. This means when the implant is embedded in the gum where tooth loss has occurred, it will merge with bone tissue to act much like the root of the natural tooth.
After healed, the implant is covered with a crown or implant supported bridge (depending on how many teeth are being replaced). Porcelain is a very popular product for the restoration for its resistance to stain and adaptability to gum tissue.
In addition, the restoration will be fabricated to closely match surrounding biological teeth in size, contour, and shading. This will make your implant virtually indiscernible from your remaining “real” teeth.
Gum disease is always a concern for patients susceptible to developing gingivitis. This includes patients with health problems that compromise their immune system, have heart deficiencies, or have parents or siblings with chronic gum disease.
However, many patients suffering from gum disease do so from lack of a proper daily hygiene regime and/or failure to make and keep their appointments with their dentist every six months.
While a dental implant is not prone to cavities, patients should continue to be diligent with their oral health regimen in order to prevent gingivitis and gum disease. For patients that follow the instructions of their implant dentist, their implant should serve them well for their lifetime.
This means daily brushing and flossing; seeing your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and exam; and following the instructions of your implant dentist for maintenance.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also impact your dental health… plenty of nourishing fruits and vegetables; limited sugary snacks and beverages; no tobacco; drink sufficient fluids (mostly water); get a good night’s sleep; and exercise. If your overall health is good, your oral health will benefit.
Although keeping all of your natural teeth is a worthy goal, teeth can be lost due to decay, disease or trauma. It’s good to know if this happens to you, you can regain the aesthetics and functionality you once enjoyed thanks to dental implants.
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PEDRO F. FRANCO, DDS
HOWARD B. PRICE, DDS
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