How Does An Implant Compare to a Real Tooth?
When a tooth is lost there are options for replacement, the option that is closest to your natural teeth is the surgical insertion of a dental implant. By restoring a tooth with an implant, you can have an independent restored tooth that works the same way as a natural tooth which is better for your bone health and dental health. The first step is a dental examination with our team at Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery, we will review your needs and make recommendations specific to you. When creating a treatment plan, we will take your dental, medical and personal needs into consideration.
When looking to restore a tooth you want to consider several ideas, you want the tooth to look real, feel real, be good for your oral health and keep your jawbone healthy. Traditional tooth replacement options can provide you with some of these attributes. Tooth replacements with implants can provide you with all of them.
Traditional Tooth Replacement
Traditional tooth replacement would include a dental bridge, partial denture or a full denture device. They can be customized to look good, and they will increase your function versus having no tooth present. Additionally, these traditional replacements are beneficial to your oral health; they prevent neighboring teeth from moving and provide a solid structure for the tooth on the opposite arch to make contact with. The downside of traditional options is in their retention. Dental bridges and partials are retained by relying on neighboring teeth, whether the neighboring tooth is capped or with the use of clasps. Alternatively, full dentures are retained through something as simple as suction or adhesive. All of these retention options are possible, but not ideal.
Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants
Dental implants are not a replacement tooth; they are a replacement tooth root. Having a tooth, or multiple teeth, replaced with dental implants allows us to retain the dental appliance, bridge, partial or full denture, directly to the jawbone. Surgically placing implants allows us to recreate the same physical setup that your natural teeth use.
An implant is a titanium or zirconium rod, it is threaded on one end and has a head on the other end, it closely resembles a screw in both its size and shape. Much like a screw, it comes in a variety of widths and lengths depending on what type of replacement is being done. The threaded end is surgically placed into the jawbone. After placement your body will naturally heal, a process known as osseointegration, meaning the bone will regrow around the threads bonding the two together.
Once the device is solidly in place, we can then attach whatever dental appliance is being attached to the head. The result is a new solid root system that is independent of your other teeth; we will not have to alter or adjust any other teeth to keep it in place. The tooth can once again transfer energy to the bone, improving the health of the bone and should feel as natural as your other teeth.