What are Dental Implants?

What are Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most successful and predictable way to replace missing teeth.  The implant itself is a small titanium fixture with tiny threads that your surgeon places, or “implants,” into the jawbone as an anchor. Simply put, dental implants are root replacements.  The jawbone attaches to the implant through a process called osseointegration, forming a secure connection between the jaw and the new root.

A dental implant is the most natural way to replace a missing tooth because it’s the only tooth replacement option that replaces the root as well as the exposed portion of the tooth.

How do Dental Implants Replace Missing Teeth?

The implant itself connects the jawbone to a prosthetic tooth replacement. One of the greatest advantages of dental implants is their versatility. Their most common use is in replacing a single missing tooth, but that’s not the only way we use implants. Because of their strength and durability, we are not limited to a one-implant-to-one-tooth ratio. We can actually replace an entire arch of missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw with as few as four to six dental implants.

This versatility comes from the variety of attachments, called abutments, that are placed into the dental implant. Implants are used to support bridges replacing three to four teeth connected to each other.  We also use implants as anchors providing connectors onto which removable dentures and partials can latch. The possibilities are almost endless.

Why Dental Implants are the Best Tooth Replacements

Implants are better than traditional tooth replacements in every area: long-term success, appearance, cleansability, function, and overall health of your mouth. 

High Success Rate

By success rate, we mean how long the implant will last and function well. One of the distinguishing characteristics of a dental implant from bridges and partials is that its success depends on the dental implant alone. The success of a bridge or partial also depends on the health of the teeth used to support it. When one tooth underneath a bridge gets a cavity, the entire bridge “fails.”

Dental implants cannot get cavities. Teeth often fail due to decay, but implants do not. They can develop periodontal disease, and when addressed early by a periodontist, we can usually prevent the implant’s failure. 

Most Natural Appearance

Because the crowns built onto dental implants emerge out of the gums and do not have any connection to neighboring teeth, they create the most natural appearance of any tooth replacement option. Our highly skilled periodontist will use the implant to precisely shape the gums, and your dentist will create the abutment crown in the right shape, size, and color. Dental implant crowns never appear to be attached to the adjacent teeth or “floating” above the gums.  They look as natural as possible.

Easiest to Clean

The emergence from the gums of dental implants isn’t done simply for looks! It also makes cleaning a dental implant crown as simple as cleaning a natural tooth. The dental implant is freestanding, so there’s nothing attaching it to adjacent teeth. Being able to floss without using any special tools is a great advantage of dental implants. Many of our patients say that they even forget the implant isn’t a “real tooth” because it looks and feels like one. 

Restored Chewing Force

When you lose a tooth, you lose the chewing force that tooth provided. People with missing teeth know that certain foods become more difficult to eat, and the food you eat doesn’t feel like it’s being chewed up as well as it used to. The chewing force recreated by a dental implant crown is as good as, if not better than, a natural tooth. 

Protects Remaining Teeth

One of the keys to the long-term success of dental implants is that they distribute the forces of chewing into the jawbone instead of onto other teeth.  When teeth are used to support “fake” teeth, like bridges and partials, they’re put under heavier forces than they were made to withstand. This can lead to cracked teeth, gum recession, and bone loss.  The teeth underneath bridges and partials also have a higher risk for cavities. 

On the contrary, dental implants actually improve the lifespan of neighboring teeth.  They alleviate the burden of chewing forces, and they’re cleaned much more easily. A dental implant actually reduces the risk of gum recession, bone loss, and cavities on neighboring teeth.

Dental Specialists in New City, New York

It’s important to keep your natural smile maintained while having the ability to enjoy the foods you like and to grin confidently. At Rockland Dental Specialists, we provide state-of-the-art implants, including implant placement, bone grafting and sinus lifts in the New City, NY area.

Dr. Lisa Nava Cohen and Dr. Shalom Mintz bring you the best oral health care experience possible with their more than two decades of combined experience. They are passionate about helping patients choose the best therapies possible for their periodontal oral health treatment. Contact us today at (845) 809-0109 to speak with one of our team members about the endodontic services we offer or book an appointment online here.

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