Some people think of dental implants as artificial roots for teeth. They are designed to hold crowns or synthetic caps on tops of teeth in place. When combined, an implant and a crown create a full tooth that can be installed in place of one that is missing or needs to be removed because of disease or decay.
Lee Family Dental Care in Worcester, MA, offers implants as a way to create a full smile after teeth have been lost or need to be removed. The main requirement for receiving implants is to have healthy gums and a strong jawbone, so it is best to have implants installed shortly after the teeth are removed.
The ‘root’ structure of an implant is made from titanium and has a screw section on the top. It needs to be drilled down through the gums and directly into the jawbone. Over time, the bone will heal around the implant and make it a permanent part of the overall skull structure.
Once the implant is in place, a crown can be screwed down. The crown refers to the part of the tooth that is visible when a person smiles. It can be made of porcelain but is more commonly made of tooth-colored composite resin. Once screwed in, the crown looks like a regular tooth.
Dental implants are permanent and resemble natural teeth, meaning patients can restore their original smile or make one that looks better than before. Implants are not susceptible to plaque and tooth decay, so they remain healthy. While they can become discolored from the consumption of food, beverages, and tobacco products, they only require basic cleaning like regular brushing and flossing to remain healthy.
Besides these basics, implants can also improve regular oral function. Patients who undergo the procedure often exhibit improved speaking and eating abilities, and also keep their jawbones strong and healthy by exerting the required amount of pressure. Because the implants are durable, they often form a permanent fixture in an individual’s mouth, meaning the patient has to undergo fewer procedures as they age.