If you want to get a missing tooth replaced, then you have three main options to choose from: dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures. Each is suited to specific situations, which means that one option might be great for you, while another might not be ideal. To help you figure out which is your best bet, here is an explanation of how implants work and what benefits they bring to the table:
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a pretty simple device that imitates a natural tooth. Dental implants are mainly composed of three parts, known as the implant, crown, and abutment.
The implant is the most important part, yet also the least visible. The implant is a screw that is attached into the jaw of the patient. If you have a strong jawbone, then the implant will be attached directly to the jawbone. If your jawbone isn't able to support that, then the implant will be attached in your gum tissue.
The crown is the actual tooth that you will use for chewing and speaking. It will feel just like a normal tooth, and will be able to perform all of the functions of a natural tooth.
The abutment acts as an interface between the implant and the crown, allowing your crown to benefit from the stability of the implant.
How does the installation of an implant work?
There are normally three phases to an implant installation, one for each of the components.
First, the implant will be installed in your jaw and allowed to heal. After that, the abutment will be added and your jaw will be allowed to heal again. Finally, the crown will be added, completing the process.
If you feel discomfort at any point, then you should talk to your dentist to figure out what's wrong. You might just have a bit of discomfort from the healing process, but there could be a problem with the positioning of the dental implant. If the implant has shifted, then you could suffer from some bone damage in the worst case scenario.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants will last you the longest of any other option, providing you with a replacement for life. Implants will look just like normal teeth and will allow you to eat and speak without worrying about getting a replacement down the line. While dentures and bridges may require more specific circumstances and may not last as long, implants are almost always a viable option.