In this four-part article series, we speak to an experienced Colorado Springs dentist about dental implants, what they are, how they work and what patients can expect from getting them.
Dental implants are widely thought to be the most sophisticated technology available for the replacement of missing teeth and, according to the experienced cosmetic dentist we spoke to in Colorado Springs, the proof is in the pudding. Dental implants boast a number of benefits over and above the traditional approaches to replacing teeth and they also last far longer. In order to develop a better appreciation for this “breakthrough” technology, we asked our dentist a number of questions and you shall find his answers to those questions in this article and the next three in the series…
Let’s begin by understanding exactly what dental implants are, doctor.
Dental implants are the devices specially trained dentists use to replace the roots of teeth that have had to be extracted because they are too decayed or damaged to be restored. These artificial roots look like tiny metal screws and because they are made from titanium metal, the bone in the jaw will actually fuse to them essentially leaving the implant fixed and non-removable. We then attach a customized replacement tooth or set of teeth to the top of the implant.
So the dental implants themselves are not actually what we see when someone who has had teeth replaced smiles, correct?
Correct. It is the goal of any dental implant dentist to achieve smile perfection, which means the implant remains hidden beneath the gum line while the artificial replacement tooth is visible and carefully fabricated to match the neighboring teeth in aesthetics.
Is the process that allows dental implants to become non-removable similar to joint replacement and bone repair using titanium implants?
The process is precisely the same. It’s called osseointegration, which refers to the knitting of the bone tissue to the surface of the implant. Titanium is perhaps the only material in the world that is accepted by the body and not rejected by infection.
Very interesting! Moving along, can dental implants be used to replace more than one tooth?
Absolutely! We routinely provide patients with multiple tooth replacement procedures, whether they have lost two, three or more teeth. We can also do full mouth reconstruction on patients who have lost all of their teeth over the years or whose teeth are in such a bad state that they will eventually lose them all (see image above). Essentially, no matter how many teeth you are missing, we can craft a strategic dental implant solution.
Wouldn’t that work out to be incredibly expensive?
Actually, no… the introduction of more sophisticated dental implant technology and techniques has rendered oral rehabilitation substantially more affordable. Instead of the hundreds of thousands of dollars one would traditionally spend on getting a full set of non-removable teeth, you’d be looking at tens, which is a small price to pay when you consider that you’re having an essential body part replaced!
Stay Tuned for Part 2
Stay tuned for the second installment of this four-part article series to find out more about dental implants and what patients can expect from getting missing and/or irreparably damaged teeth replaced.