Your natural teeth are very resilient and with proper care and dental hygiene, you can avoid replacing them with artificial teeth and dental implants. However, things like poor dental hygiene, lifestyle choices, and other such factors can have an impact on the health of your teeth.
Your teeth can also become damaged when you play a sport or have an accident. In some cases, the damage can be repaired and you can retain the use of your natural teeth. However, if the damage is too severe, you’ll need to replace the older tooth entirely with an artificial one; and that’s where an implant comes in.
A brief look at implants
An implant is a small object that’s embedded into the jaw line where the original tooth root sat. This object acts as an anchor point to artificial dental crowns or caps that replicate the appearance of regular teeth. The implant material is surgical grade and the surrounding bone structure melds with it during the healing process to provide a solid base to the artificial tooth.
Types of dental implants
There are two different types of dental implants available in the market today and both of them have proven to be good options for people with damaged or missing natural teeth. Here’s a brief look at the two options available to you:
- Titanium – This is the most commonly used option and has proven its worth over time. Titanium is surgical grade so it’s presence in your body doesn’t cause any harm. It’s often used in other surgeries like knee surgery, orthopedic surgery, etc. Titanium implants have a very high rate of success and they meld with the surround bone matter well.
This biocompatible material will naturally fuse with the organic matter in the jaw line and stay in place. Implants usually have two separate sections; one is the post and the other is the abutment. The post is surgically implanted into the bone while the abutment rests on top of the post and provides a base for the dental crown.
- Zirconium – Unlike titanium, which has been around for a long time, zirconium has been around only for a few years. This material was developed solely because people wanted a metal-free option for their dental implants. As this material is made from ceramic, it’s more acceptable to people who wish to avoid metal. It is a single piece with both the post and abutment. This means the implant is less malleable, but also less prone to cause gum infections if you don’t maintain proper hygiene.
However, this material does have its drawbacks. It’s not suitable for people that have a problem with grinding or clenching their teeth. The ceramic is likely to wear down over time and become unsuitable. This material is relatively new so there’s very little evidence to support how long it will last or how well it performs in real life. They’re less flexible so you can’t manipulate the placement and direction of the teeth as you can with a titanium dental implant.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of materials so it’s a good idea to visit a dental office that will offer you the ideal dental implant based on your requirements and current dental health. The dentist will examine your teeth carefully and determine just which option will work best for you.
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