Losing a tooth in adulthood due to facial trauma or injury is many people’s worst nightmare. Unlike childhood, where tooth loss is a celebration of growing up, losing a tooth as an adult is anything but celebratory. In fact, it’s quite traumatic. Fortunately, major strides in dental technology have allowed for very lifelike and durable replacement teeth. For those who have lost a tooth to injury or trauma, an oral surgeon will normally recommend dental implants. These permanent replacement teeth are unlike any other type of prosthetic. They restore oral function and the appearance of a smile.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a biocompatible replacement tooth that addresses the loss of all a tooth’s structures including its roots. The implant consists of a prosthetic crown and metal post. The crown replaces tooth structure above the gums while the metal post replaces a tooth’s roots. The post is constructed from titanium, a durable and biocompatible metal. The reason implants are so durable is the fact that bone fuses to titanium, a process that stabilizes the implant permanently.
How are implants different from dentures?
Implants and dentures are quite different in the way they replace teeth. For instance, dentures only replace the visible structures (crowns) of teeth by lying on top of the gums. The arch of the jawbones holds dentures in place. Dentures can replace an entire arch of teeth or multiple lost teeth whereas a dental implant replaces a single tooth. Implants restore more than just the crowns of teeth; they restore structure below the gum line, too.
Are implants right for everyone?
Although implants are the best option for replacing a lost tooth, this procedure is not right for every patient. The patients who benefit most from treatment are non-smokers with healthy bone mass and gum tissue.
To determine if dental implants are right for you, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons. Call Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates at 405-624-1300 to reserve an appointment with our caring team.