The average adult smile consists of 32 teeth, and each tooth serves a purpose. When a tooth is lost from injury, gum disease, or decay, the gap left behind can expose the other teeth to harmful bacteria, decay, and potential injury. For over 50 years, dental implants have been recommended as an optimal solution for the replacement of missing teeth. Implants are typically suggested after all efforts to preserve a tooth has been made.
What is a dental implant?
An implant is an artificial replacement for the root of a tooth. It mimics the natural tooth structure and serves as an anchor for one or more replacement teeth. The term “dental implant” often refers to the three components: ceramic crown, connector or abutment, and the titanium base that fuses with the jawbone.
What does a dental implant look like?
There are three parts in the anatomy of a dental implant – crown, connector, and base.
- The crown is the prosthetic, upper portion of the implant. Crowns are typically made of ceramic materials which are made to look just like a natural tooth. Even your natural color is matched.
- The connector, sometimes referred to as an abutment, simply serve as a means of attachment for the crown and the base.
- The base or the implant itself, is the titanium anchor screws into the jawbone. The implant takes the place that would otherwise be occupied by the root of the teeth.
Who are the ideal candidates for dental implants?
Many of our patients are surprised to learn that when it comes to dealing with the discomfort and frustration of having missing teeth, they are not alone. In fact, nearly 69% of adults aged 35-44 are missing at least one tooth. And avoiding tooth replacement is just as common.
The ideal candidates for dental implants
For patients who are candidates, dental implants look, feel, and operate just like natural teeth. With proper hygiene and care, an implant can last a lifetime. When it comes to your smile, implants are not just about aesthetics. There are significant problems that may occur when one or more teeth are missing and implants offer patients a long-term solution.
If you’re like the millions of Americans who have one or more missing teeth, you could benefit from dental implants. Serving the Fredericksburg region with a combined thirty-eight years of experience, Dr. Cathie Hidalgo Seaman and Dr. Joel Butterworth specialize in dental implant surgery. Contact Smile Center to schedule your consultation today: 540-899-7791!