with Dr Nick
Nearly 70% of middle aged Americans are missing at least 1 tooth due to an accident, decay, or gum disease. The teeth are designed to work together to help us chew, smile and speak. When one or more teeth are lost the system begins to be unbalanced and begins to break down. Teeth shift to partially fill gaps left by missing teeth, teeth become worn unevenly because of overuse, the jaw joint and muscles can also become affected.
There are 3 components to a dental implant. The implant is a titanium screw that is placed in the jaw bone. The implant has a special surface treatment that allows the bone to grow around and into the implant surface. This natural remodeling process solidifies the implant into the bone and allows it to function similarly to a natural tooth root. The second component is the abutment, which is a connection between the implant and the crown. The abutment is customized to properly align the implant crown with the other teeth. The final component is the crown which is similar to a regular cap or crown that a dentist would place on a natural tooth.
The crown and abutment are screwed into the implant. The most common compilation with regard to implants is a loosened screw. The crown will feel loose, but won’t come off. This can be disconcerting to the patient, but we are able to tighten the screw down or replace the screw very easily. The second most common complication is soreness of the opposing teeth. Implants, unlike natural teeth are connected directly into the bone and don’t have a soft ligament around them. Consequently, if the bite isn’t adjusted properly or if the teeth shift the bite can be heavy on the teeth opposing the implant. Once we have completed an implant restoration we recommend that each patient have a custom night guard made to protect their teeth and the implant as well as to prevent movement of the teeth.
More About Dental Implants
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