What Are Dental Implants? An Inside Look At the Types and Uses

What Are Dental Implants? An Inside Look At the Types and Uses

June 1, 2020

Tooth loss is quite common among adults, especially as we grow older. In America alone, there are close to 35 million people who are missing either lower or upper teeth. Believe it or not, you are not alone.

Many people who seek missing teeth treatment have opted for dental implants instead of living with the discomfort of dentures. Currently, there are 3 million Americans who have implants, and the number keeps on growing by 500,000 each year.

But why seek implant dentistry in Lansing, MI? Let’s peer a bit deeper into what implants are and why you would need to visit our dental office in Lansing, MI, to get them.

Dental Implants Overview

In a nutshell, think of implants as screw-shaped tooth roots. Not only do implants replace your teeth but also your tooth roots. They are the only dental procedure that replaces the tooth from the crown to the root.

Typically, there are two common types of implants: Endosteal and Subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are more common than subperiosteal. This is because subperiosteal implants are placed on the jawbone but under the gum line. Endosteal implants are more stable since they are inserted in the jawbone.

The Endosteal implants are made of three parts:

  • Implant. This is the titanium post that is surgically inserted to your jawbone, then fuses with the bone to form an artificial root.
  • Abutment. This is the connector that links the implant to the artificial tooth.
  • Prosthesis. This is the visible part of the implant that feels, looks, and functions as the tooth. It can be a crown, denture, or bridge.

Other than the procedure used in implant dentistry in Lansing, MI, there are other methods of categorizing implants, including size and materials used.

What Are Implants Made Of?

For many years, titanium was used to make the dental implants. But, modern dental technology has made it possible for implants to be made from different materials. Much research has been done about these materials, including their chemical and physical properties.

For an implant to function as an excellent tooth replacement, it has to be sturdy and robust. For this reason, the most common types of implant materials that are used today are:

  • Titanium

Titanium is the most common type of material that is used to make implants and with good reason. It is a biocompatible metal that can exist in harmony with your body tissues without causing any harm.
They also fuse with the bone, which aids in restoring and maintaining the jawbone after tooth loss.

  • Zirconia

Zirconia is a recent invention as compared to titanium, which has been used since the 1950s. They do not come in two parts as titanium, which makes them excellent in reducing the chances of bacteria hiding and infecting the gums.

Their ceramic designs are yet to be fully appreciated.

Why Do You Need Dental Implants?

If you have lost a tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth, dental implants are an excellent root and tooth replacement. If you have lost all your teeth, you will not need an implant for every missing tooth. This is where All-on-4 implants come in handy. This type of implant can be used to restore a full arch of your top or bottom teeth.

If you have lost a tooth, there are options like dentures or bridges or implants. You can go for dentures since they are cheap and relatively easy to get, but they aren’t desirable and comfortable. They can affect your speech or mess your taste buds a bit.

On the other hand, you have bridges, which are dependent on other teeth for anchorage. This leaves you with implants as the only viable option.

Implants are the only option that doesn’t use your other teeth for anchorage, but they use the jawbone instead. They also mimic the look and function of your natural teeth.

Can Anyone Get Implants?

Typically, you can be considered for an implant if you are healthy enough to withstand a surgical extraction or oral surgery. But you need much more to get an implant. This means that you need to have healthy gums and enough healthy bone that can accommodate and hold the implant in place.

It would also suit you if you can commit to several months of dental visits since the process takes quite some time before it is complete. Other than that, it would help if you had proper dental habits to ensure that the process is a success.

Other than that, our dentist will have to examine if:

  • You suffer from an uncontrolled condition such as diabetes which inhibits proper healing
  • You are a heavy smoker
  • You have undergone radiation therapy in the neck or head region.

Our dentist has to examine the above factors since they might hinder you from getting an implant.

The best part about getting dental implants is that you are not only replacing your smile, but you are also restoring the normal function of your teeth. At Gentle Dental Care, we are committed to helping you get the best dental care possible. Call us today to book an appointment.