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Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are metal or ceramic artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the upper and lower jaw bones. They can be used to replace individual missing teeth so a bridge or partial denture isn't needed. Or they can be used to support a bridge or denture. Dentures supported by implants have advantages over traditional dentures.

Advantages of implant-supported dentures over traditional dentures

For some people, implants may be a good option for providing support. This includes those with loose or poor-fitting dentures due to flat ridges. Or those with multiple missing teeth who need support for crowns and bridges. Implants help:

  • Reduce movement of dentures

  • Allow proper chewing

  • Provide support and better stability for removable dentures

  • Give the "feel" of natural teeth better than traditional dentures

  • Improve speech and appearance

What does your dentist consider before suggesting implants?

There are many things to think about before getting an implant. For instance, you must:

  • Have a correct diagnosis.

  • Be healthy.

  • Have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant.

  • Not have certain health conditions that may affect your ability to heal.

  • Not smoke or drink alcohol.

  • Be committed to careful oral hygiene and regular dental visits after getting the implants.

What are the different types of dental implants?

The 2 most common types of dental implants are:

  • Endosteal implants (most common). This type of implant is inserted into the jaw bone. It's used as a root to hold a crown in place.

  • Subperiosteal implants (uncommon). This type of implant is rarely used. But it may be an option for people who can't wear conventional dentures. It uses a lightweight, specially-designed, metal implant that fits right on the existing bone.

Dental implants may be inserted by a dentist specially trained in implantology, a periodontist, or an oral surgeon.

Health risks and dental implants

Implants are made of biologically compatible materials. These materials have been tested extensively over several years. They are largely biocompatible metals, such as titanium. And they have never been living tissue. So there is little to no chance that the body's immune system will reject the implant.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Michael Kapner MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Paula Goode RN BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2020
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