Having a beautiful smile boosts your confidence and your quality of life, but this is often a problem for people who have suffered tooth loss. However, other than self-esteem problems, tooth loss can also lead to difficulty chewing and speaking, possible changes to your facial structure, and TMJ disorders. Fortunately, dental implants can address all of these problems.
What are Dental Implants made of?
Dental implants are made up of a titanium post, an abutment, and a crown (though a bridge or arch can replace the crown). These three parts are fit together in that order to create a prosthetic tooth that looks and functions just like a real one. Implants require surgery for placement and typically need a healing period between the initial insertion and the final product.
The titanium post is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Titanium is used not only because of its durability but also due to its biocompatibility. When a metal is biocompatible, then the tissues of the body recognize it as a compatible substance instead of a hazardous foreign object. As a result, the jaw bone will grow around the post in a process called osseointegration.
After we surgically place the post, we will need to wait a few months for the bone to heal and bond with the post before we can continue with the procedure. Once the bone grows around the titanium post during the healing period, a strong bond between them is formed, resulting in a long-lasting dental restoration.
Once the bone and implant have healed and bonded, we will attach the abutment. This piece is largely unseen by the end of the procedure and is used to attach the crown or finishing restoration. We screw it onto the top of the post and use dental cement to keep it in place permanently. After that, we will cover the abutment with the finishing restoration.
Multiple dental restorations are available depending on your needs. We offer single crowns to replace a single tooth, bridges that replace an entire row of teeth, and full arches. The number of teeth you want to be replaced will determine which type of restoration we'll use.
Materials Used for Crowns and Finishing Restorations
We craft our crowns and finishing restorations out of high-quality materials that are built to last. Different materials have different applications.
We often use metal as a base material that other materials like ceramic and porcelain can fuse to. Metal makes for a stable, long-lasting base for molars.
Gold restorations aren't as common or popular as in previous decades, but they last a long time and have a very similar feel to natural teeth.
Porcelain is used on teeth that are highly visible in the smile, like the teeth in front. However, while porcelain does a great job of restoring the aesthetics of teeth, it isn't a very strong material. Therefore, we rarely if ever use it to restore molars because of the high amount of pressure those back teeth exert.
Zirconia and other ceramic materials can withstand an incredibly high amount of pressure, and they also bear a strong resemblance to natural teeth. As a result, ceramic materials are frequently used for teeth that do lots of chewing.
For more information, please contact our office at (970) 812-3959.