My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.
Upon discussing the implant installation process with your dentist, you might feel like a bundle of nerves about the upcoming procedures. Luckily, you can ease your stress and feel calm about the procedures by learning about the materials used for the implants. By learning about the individual components, you can gain a better understanding about each step of the implant installation procedure.
Whether you need just one implant or a whole mouth full, the materials used for permanent tooth replacement have come a long way since the first known implants used in the third century B.C. At that time, a simple iron pin held purely decorative false teeth in place. Modern materials ensure that the replacement teeth look and act just like your natural chompers.
Your dentist must prepare your jawbone and gums for the implants before placing the posts. Dentists may need to rebuild these natural structures using bone and tissue grafts to give the implants something to hold onto. Furthermore, your jawbone needs to be healthy enough to grow around the implant to secure it in place permanently.
Although many of the graft materials come from cadavers or donors, researchers have developed a synthetic substance that mimics biological structures for faster healing times. This new material may lower the current 10% implant rejection rate to near zero, especially in patients with fairly unhealthy bone or gum tissue.
Dentists drill down through the gums to the jawbone below to make way for the implant post. The post must sit far below the gum line to fully integrate with the jawbone for a permanent fit. The post has screw-like grooves that give the jawbone something to latch onto as it grows around the implant base.
To protect against rejection, dentists use sanitized metal fixtures for the post material. The most common type of metal used for the implants is titanium due to its high acceptance rate. Titanium is also used in synthetic body parts used to reconstruct the hips and knees.
After giving your jawbone enough time to anchor the implant post securely in place, dentists screw an extension, or abutment, onto the top of the base. The extension provides the crown or bridge with the strength and support it needs while biting down.
The extension is basically a diamond shaped piece of titanium that serves as the connection point between the false teeth and implant post. If your dentist can install the extension without issue, you are likely healed enough to receive the last part of the implant: the replacement teeth.
The crowns, bridges or dentures that attach to the implant posts are created either by hand or by using a printer. Your dentist will send off impressions to the lab as a guide for tooth size, shape and features. Dental crowns are commonly created out of ceramic, porcelain or metal materials that feel strong and natural in your mouth.
Traditionally, common metals used to create artificial teeth include gold, silver and titanium. Dentists are starting to embrace 3D printing technology to make false teeth out of new materials, such as cobalt chrome, for a better fit and feel. Either way, your artificial teeth will likely arrive at your dentist's office well before your mouth heals from all of the preparatory procedures.
Starting The Process
Schedule the implant installation process as soon as you can after losing your tooth. Delaying the process may allow the bone material in your jaw to recede, necessitating restorative procedures that lengthen the recovery period. The entire process from tooth removal to implant placement often takes up to a year, especially if grafts are needed, so it is wise to start right away.
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