Dental implants are versatile devices that are used to replace the roots of lost teeth. Although the roots of natural teeth are hidden beneath the gums, they stabilize the portions of the tooth material that are displayed in the mouth. Thus, when a tooth is extracted, its roots are pulled from its socket.
Likewise, dental implants are the stabilizing portion of tooth-replacement devices, such as crowns, dentures, and bridges. Once an implant is lost, the attached crown-replacement appliance is also detached from the mouth.
Here are a few reasons that a dental implant is so stabilizing.
An implant is located in the bone of the jaw. The bone secures the implant, preventing it from moving about.
When an implant is inserted into the jawbone, the device progressively integrates with the bone tissue over the course of a few months. During that time, as the wound created by the implant's insertion heals, the bone cells grow and reproduce around the implant, filling any existing gaps between the jawbone and the device.
To ensure that the jawbone offers a strong foundation for the implant, the dentist assesses the density and thickness of the bone before placing the implant. If the jawbone appears too porous or too thin, the dentist can prescribe a bone graft. During the grafting procedure, the bone that has been harvested from a cadaver, an animal, or a different area of the patient's body is added to the jawbone to encourage the growth of additional bone tissue. Once the graft has sufficiently increased the girth of the jawbone, the dental implant can be placed.
A dental implant is not made of a material that easily degrades. Implants are constructed from titanium, a strong, biocompatible metal. Thus, not only is the implant unlike to react chemically to the compounds found in the body, but the device is also strong enough to avoid bending or breaking.
When an implant requires replacement, it usually has little to do with the condition of the device itself. Instead, problems with the implant arise as the connection that was formed between the implant and the bone during osseointegration is lost. This lost of connectivity is usually due to trauma from a blow to the mouth or extreme bite pressure, such as that associated with bruxism. Once the implant disconnects from the bone, a reconnection does not occur.
To learn more about dental implants and their ability to stabilize other dental devices, schedule an appointment at a clinic like Orange Door Dental Group.