As we age, our teeth often become weaker and prone to decay. Often, the solution is to use dental implants. While crowns and bridges can support our teeth and allow us to keep them in good order, when we are no longer able to use the roots of our natural teeth, crowns and bridges must be placed on implants.
Illustration of a bridge on implants. (Image credit: Wikipedia)
In the past, removable appliances called dentures were used. These were plastic teeth set in plastic or metal structures. But they tended to move during chewing, which trapped food under and around them. Today’s dentists use the far more advanced tooth implants. Such ‘new’ teeth are more effective and longer-lasting, and easier to insert then removing teeth. Usually only a local anaesthetic is required with minimal intrusion.
The foundation of the implants is attached into bone so that when the implanted roots are later attached to the solid structure, the patient’s bite is restored. Because the root of the infected tooth is removed, the patient avoids the potential difficulties associated with root canal filled teeth, instead being given a solid and perfect looking ‘new’ implant.
It takes up to four months to heal after insertion of the implants. The second stage is attaching the crown of the tooth to the implanted root. The end result is permanent, sturdy and helps significantly with eating capability.
There is a serious skill level required in creating today’s perfect implant in terms of shape, size and final colour restoration of the crowns. The combination of using quality materials and a skilled professional dentist with a skilled dental technician gives patients the best outcome.