We may label people who rarely smile as “aloof” or “snooty.” But when you think about it, there may be reasonable explanations for why they decline to smile.
One reason can be easily addressed — for people who are embarrassed about missing teeth, it’s as easy as going to the dentist to have their smile restored by various methods, such as dental implants.
Implants are artificial replacements for natural teeth, or an option for permanent tooth replacement. They can so easily pass as natural permanent teeth without a trace, except in an X-ray. The implant itself looks like a titanium screw or cylinder that is attached to the jawbone and gum tissue to become a stable base for a dental crown or bridge.
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants can restore a single tooth, several teeth or a full jaw of teeth. An implant and a crown are needed to replace a single tooth; implant-supported bridges are used to replace several teeth; and to replace a full jaw of teeth, a dentist may use implants to support a full set of dentures.
The Implant Process
It usually takes several months to complete implant treatment because osseointegration, the process where the implant fuses with the bone, usually takes about three to six months to complete.
Soon after the fusing process is complete, the dentist attaches a post to the implant, around which the gum tissue is expected to heal. This process takes another couple of months. Once it heals, the implant is stable enough to finally hold the crown or bridge, just like natural tooth roots hold teeth.
Uses of Dental Implants
Like dentures, crowns or bridges, dental implants are used to restore broken teeth or lost teeth and serve a number of different functions.
- Eating. Implants restore chewing to an efficiency comparable to natural teeth. In other words, it lets you enjoy your food without having to worry about chewing on or swallowing your denture.
- Speech. Because implants are as stable as healthy, natural teeth, they allow for clear speech and pronunciation.
- Comfort. Unlike dentures that sit on the gums, implants are planted into the gums just like real teeth. This eliminates gum irritation and pain of exposed nerves. Implants feel just like real teeth, which can make you forget that they are actually artificial.
- Self-esteem. Speaking of comfort, ill-fitting dentures and loosened crowns or bridges can be absolutely uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. With implants, there’s no need to worry about this because your teeth are planted to feel like natural teeth.
- Aesthetics. In line with the feel-good function, implants enhance a person’s appearance by adding teeth to the toothless — a more eye-catching look for anyone.
- Convenience. Unlike dentures, implants don’t have to be removed routinely for cleaning. Like with natural teeth, simple brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are the only requirements to keep implants and the gums surrounding them at their healthiest condition.