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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.

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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

What Patients Should Know About Dental Implants

by April Myers

Dental implant services are popular with folks who have concerns about missing teeth. This is in large part because they provide one of the most solid platforms for normal chewing.

If you're considering dental implants, you should have a well-informed opinion about the options. Here are three things dentists want their patients to know about implants.

What Is an Implant?

An implant is an artificial tooth, and the implanted portion is usually made from a medical-grade metal post. The dentist will drill into the bones that sit between the teeth and the jaw. Inside the post, there are many tiny holes. As the area around the implant heals, the body should generate bone that fills into the holes, locking the implant into place. Your practitioner will then mount a dental appliance that's similar in composition to a crown or veneer on the post to provide a chewing surface.

Are There Different Types of Implants?

Every implant system uses the same implanted post. The primary differences are in how the posts might be used.

You can get a single-tooth implant. This is just one post with one cap, and it's ideal if you don't have multiple missing teeth in a gap.

An implant can also serve as one half of a dental bridge. One tooth will be filed down and capped to serve as an end to the bridge like normal. However, the other end will be anchored by a post. This technique is best for people who need bridges, but they lack back teeth. The post can serve to replace the missing rear molar.

Finally, there are what are sometimes called all-on-four dental implants. A set of upper or lower teeth are completely removed, and then the dentist installs four posts. Two sets of arches, one for the left side and one for the right, are then mounted on the posts.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

No, dental implant services are not ideal for all patients. Individuals who've suffered major bone loss, in particular, tend to be poor candidates. The posts need something to foster bone growth. Folks who've been missing teeth for too long are likely to experience bone atrophy, leaving them with an insufficient base.

Individuals who have poor gum health are also not great candidates. These patients, however, may be able to work with a dental hygienist to restore their gum health. A dentist will then review the case again to see if the client is ready for implants. 

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