Questions And Answers About Dental Implants

A dental implant is a prosthetic application that is used to replace the root of a tooth. If your dentist has prescribed a dental implant for you, you may have questions about the procedure. Here are a few questions and answers about dental implants to help you better understand them:

What is a dental implant made of?

A dental implant is usually made of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal. It is important that the metal of the implant be non reactive, so that there is less chance of an allergic response to it.

When is a dental implant usually recommended? 

A dental implant is often recommended to replace a single missing tooth that has been lost due to decay or trauma. In addition, a dental implant maybe recommended as a supporting device for dental appliances that replace multiple teeth, such as dental bridges and overdentures.

How long does it take the dental implant to heal?

After an implants screw has been surgically inserted into the jawbone, it heals over a period of about two to four months. The healing process, which is called osseointegration, allows the jawbone to connect or fuse with the implant screw.

Can the patient eat normally once the implant is placed?

Once a dental implant is in place, osseointegration needs to occur before the patient has full chewing ability restored. The fusion of the jawbone with the implanted screw ensures that the implant is secure and stable.  If the implant is being used to replace a single tooth, after the fusion takes place, the dentist can place a connector and a dental crown. 

Are there additional reasons (other than correcting the appearance of the teeth) that an implant should be used to replace a missing tooth?

There are multiple reasons why a dental implant should be installed to replace a missing tooth. Here are a few of them:

Dental Migration

The dental implant prevents adjacent teeth from shifting out of position. A gap or space left in the mouth gives remaining teeth enough room to migrate.

Stimulation of Jawbone

A dental implant transfers stimulating pressure to the jawbone. In order for a jawbone to maintain a healthy density, it must receive stimulation through bite pressure. Once a tooth is extracted, no further stimulation occurs at the extraction site. However, since the implant screw is embedded into the jawbone, bite pressure is still transferring to the bone when the patient chews or bites.

If you are considering a dental implant, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area to determine whether or not you are a good candidate.