Crafting perfect dental implants is a combination of both science and art. Dental implants have been used for tooth replacement since the 1970s. But today’s implant has evolved from a one-size fits all model to a highly customized fit for each patient, each tooth and each situation.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is used to replace the root of a lost tooth. It attaches a small titanium cylinder to the jaw bone. It is the unique characteristics of titanium that make the process work. Titanium has a unique quality of being able to meld to the existing bone and not be rejected by the human body. That’s why it’s used in other processes like knee and hip replacement.
Early implants were used on people who couldn’t tolerate dentures. They can still be used in those situations. But today, they’re often used to replace one or two teeth that are missing.
The implant can be placed either in the bone or on it. Once the implant has been successfully placed and has time to meld to the bone, a crown that’s been customized to look like your teeth is attached. In fact, this ability to customize the crown is one of the biggest improvements over early implants.
Advantages of Dental Implants
There are many advantages to dental implants. One of the best is that they can last a lifetime if they are cared for properly. Besides proper dental hygiene, it’s important to visit your dentist on a regular basis so a care plan can be developed for you.
Dr. Blaine McLaughlin at Dental Touch Associates in Cedar Rapids uses dental implants to secure crowns, bridges and full dentures if needed. If you have a missing tooth or teeth and would like to explore the idea of dental implants, please contact our office for a consultation. 319-373-5082.