Do you know about tooth implants?
No one will ever know that you have a tooth replacement tooth implants are among the most common methods used in dental repair, replacement, and in denture work, yet many people have no idea what tooth implants really are or how they are used. Considering the fact that you are very likely to need to deal with implants at some time in your life, it is a great idea to learn as much as you can.
Your very best resource in this is your own dentist: he or she can provide you with detailed information, show you samples, give examples of the kinds of work done with implants, and more. But a little reading can give you an overview so that you know what you are being told when you go to talk to your dentist. Being prepared is one of the strongest learning tools at your disposal!
So — What are Tooth Implants, Anyway?
They are basically small titanium spikes, or nails, that serve the same stabilizing function that the roots of a natural tooth serve. They are made of titanium for the strength of the metal, the chemical stability that prevents most acids and base elements from damaging the spike, and for the non-allergenic and non-irritating qualities of the metal.
A tiny titanium spike rooted in the bone of your jaw is unable to rust, extremely unlikely to cause irritation and infection, and strong enough to endure the powerful forces placed on functioning teeth.
There are two common forms of implants: standard sized and mini-implants. Standard implants require a fair amount of bone and are placed in a surgical operation. After being implanted a period of time will be set for healing: the bone of your jaw will actually grow back around the spike, securing it the way concrete secures a metal rod at a construction site. After the healing has occurred a new tooth can be fashioned over the implant.
Mini-implants are much smaller, and are used where bone is thin (at the front of the lower jaw, where they are becoming standard), for teeth that take relatively little torque (again, front incisors, top and bottom, which take less stress than molars), and as stabilizing posts for denture wearers.
In the last instance they serve as anchors, fitting into custom drilled slots in the denture and preventing the denture from slipping and sliding. Mini-implants can be placed as an out-patient procedure, often with only minimal anesthetic.
Tooth implants are safe, useful, and have allowed people more possible ways of either retaining a full set of teeth, or securing prosthetic teeth than ever before.