Replacing missing teeth is imperative to restoring oral function, improving a patient’s appearance, and preventing further deterioration of the oral health system. When tooth loss goes unaddressed, patients hold a heightened risk for losing additional teeth and developing jawbone atrophy. Dental implants are the most tooth-like method to replace missing teeth. Replacing both a tooth’s crown and a tooth’s root, implants provide a durable biting surface for chewing food and fill in the gaps of a smile. Placed by an oral surgeon, receiving dental implants is a mild surgical procedure that is only available to adults.
The Components of Dental Implants
Dental implants consist of two parts, a titanium textured post that is inserted into the jawbone and an artificial crown, which is attached to the titanium post above the gum line. The titanium post will ultimately replace a tooth’s root and the surrounding bone will fuse around the post over time, firmly securing it in place. The crown, a manmade and tooth-shaped prosthetic tooth fills the empty tooth socket where it provides patients with a stable biting surface. Crowns may be made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or a variety of metal alloys.
Candidates for Dental Implants
This method of tooth replacement is not suitable for children for a variety of reasons. When children lose teeth it is part of a natural process where permanent teeth replace baby teeth. During this time, the jawbone is also still developing and children will likely be undergoing orthodontic treatment to align teeth to the healthiest position possible. Because the stability of an implant is contingent on healthy jawbone, developing bone mass is not ideal for the longevity of an implant.
Adults, on the other hand, benefit greatly from receiving dental implants. Those who are candidates for this procedure should have relatively good oral health, be free of periodontal disease, and possess enough bone mass to support dental implants.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, we encourage you to contact Oral Surgery Associates of North Texas to schedule a consultation with our team of oral surgeons.