How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants are an alternative to dentures for replacing teeth that are missing or need to be removed. Unlike dentures that sit along the gums, the base of dental implants sits below the gum line. Whereas dentures are removable, dental implants are permanently fixed in place so there is no risk of the artificial replacement teeth coming loose or falling out. For patients in Westminster, CO who need dental implants, Dr. Alexander Smith of The Family Dentist can custom fit dental implants for you.
Installation of Dental Implants
There are three main parts to a dental implant; the fixture, abutment and crown. The crown is the artificial replacement tooth and the fixture serves as its root. The abutment connects the crown to the fixture. Dental implants look and work like regular teeth. They are anchored to the jawbone and remain firmly in place just like natural teeth. They will not come loose or move out of place. With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime.
The fixture of a dental implant is usually made of hypoallergenic titanium. It is drilled into the jawbone and left in place for several months to allow osseointegration to occur. Osseointegration refers to the process of the dental implant fusing with the jawbone so that it becomes permanently attached. Once fused in place, the abutment is screwed onto the tip of the fixture and will serve as a holder for the crown. The crown, which is the artificial tooth, is then cemented or screwed onto the abutment, leaving only the crown visible.
To be a good candidate for dental implants, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends that patients be in good health overall. Dental implant patients should also have healthy gums with no signs of decay and have sufficient bone in the jaw for affixing the implant fixture. The American Academy of Periodontology also suggests that patients who smoke regularly or have diabetes or heart problems might not be good candidates for the procedure. Your Westminster dentist can help determine if you are a candidate for dental implants in Westminster.
Dental implants are a good option for patients with just a few missing or problem teeth that need to be replaced who want to avoid the hassle of dentures that can come loose and slip out of place. Dr. Smith can install dental implants for you and help you maintain them with regular dental checkups so that they last your entire lifetime. For dental implants in the Westminster, CO area, contact The Family Dentist at (303) 427-8690.