If you have been unlucky enough to lose one or more teeth, you may be feeling daunted by the idea of the number of years ahead of you without being able to eat quite a long list of delicious and nutritious foods.
Crunchy food (apples, carrots), chewy food (toffees, steak), sticky foods (nut butters), bitty foods (seeds and nuts) – having to avoid this long list can be severely restrictive for some people. Fortunately, many dentists such as Ace Dental in Camden can now use dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Dental implants are different from dentures in that they replace the root of the tooth as well as the crown. A dental implant is a titanium post inserted into the jawbone during a surgical procedure under local anaesthetic. Some nervous patients also opt for sedation.
Over the following weeks to month, the implant becomes as stable as a natural root because titanium has the remarkable ability to fuse with bone tissue. This create a stable base capable of supporting the multi-directional forces of chewing. And, because the titanium catalyses bone growth, the jawbone retains its size and density, and you get to avoid that sunken aged look that denture wearers can acquire as their jawbones decrease.
Once the implant has had time to integrate with the jawbone, the patient can return to the dentist who then fits an abutment into the post. An abutment is an internal screw. It is onto this that the final part, the crown, of the dental implant is fitted.
When people opt for dental implants the crowns are custom-made to blend in with their natural teeth. The material used is porcelain and this comes in a range of shades to match the colour of the surrounding teeth. Tooth shape and size is also important, and so technicians are specially trained to handcraft teeth to match impressions or photographs of the wearer’s natural teeth.
Dental implants can replace one tooth, or a few, or even all your teeth. They can also be used for denture stabilisation.
Once the teeth are fitted, they are permanently and securely in place, and the patient is once again able to enjoy foods that they may have had to avoid for years. This freedom cannot be underestimated.