Harford County Dentistry offers dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth. Implants are an effective, long-term solution for people who need teeth replaced. They are by far the best solution and the closest thing a person will get to a natural tooth.
What Are Dental Implants?
The term dental implants describe the entire system that replaces one or more teeth. However, a dental implant is only one part of the actual replacement tooth or teeth.
Implant-supported restorations are made up of three parts: an implant (sometimes multiple), an abutment, and a dental restoration. To help you understand what dental implants are and how they work, we have broken down the three main components.
The implant fixture is the part of the dental implant that the dentist will surgically place into the jaw bone. This screw-like post is made of titanium, a very strong yet light type of metal. Titanium is a type of metal that is not harmful to the human body.
The bone cells in the jaw will attach to the metal implant creating a strong bond during a process called osseointegration. The implant will act as a tooth root providing stimulation for the bone, thus preventing bone loss. It will also firmly hold a dental restoration in place.
There are a few different types of implants available:
- Standard dental implants: typically used in the front part of the mouth. They are skinnier, measuring about 3.4 mm to 4.2 mm in diameter.
- Wide platform dental implants: primarily used in the back part of the mouth. They are wider-ranging in size from 4.5 mm to about 6 mm in diameter.
A titanium abutment or container is a small connector piece that attaches to the implant post. After the implant fully fuses with the jaw bone, another minor surgery will uncover the implant, and the dentist will screw or cement the abutment to it.
Sometimes the dentist will place a healing abutment (also called a healing cap) after the surgical placement of the implant to help the gum tissue heal around the implant site. A second surgery is not necessary if an abutment is placed. The dentist will place the permanent abutment right before the restoration attachment.
A permanent abutment will sit right at the gum line and support a dental restoration.
The final piece is the dental restoration which will resemble, feel, and function just like a natural tooth or teeth. We will attach the dental prosthesis once your gums have healed and the implants have fully integrated with the jaw bone.
The type you will need depends on the number and location of the missing teeth. Dr. Umo will restore multiple missing teeth with a dental bridge or partial denture. We will restore a single missing tooth with a dental crown. If you are missing one or both arches of teeth, he will restore them with a custom-made denture.
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