Titanium to the Rescue
At Kalil & Kress, we believe dental implants are the stars of the dental world. They’ve been around for 50 years or so, but just in the past decade or so they have really become mainstream.
We place dental implants at our offices in Nashua. Here’s why we like them so much for tooth replacement.
The Base is the Name
In March’s blogs, we addressed why it’s a really bad idea to not replace a missing tooth or teeth. Your replacement options are a bridge or a dental implant. A bridge is cheaper than an implant, but bridges have some disadvantages. First, to anchor the bridge, the two teeth on each side of the gap need to be shaved down to make room for crowns. These two crowns will anchor the bridge, which is made of porcelain artificial teeth fused to metal. Bridges replace the missing teeth, but they don’t help the underlying jawbone, which still does not receive energy from the missing teeth above. This energy generated when we bite and chew transfers down through the teeth into the jawbone, and it triggers the continual replacement of old bone mass with new bone, keeping it healthy. Bridges can also break. Their lifespan is usually 10-15 years, at which point you’ll have to get a new bridge made.
Implants get their name from their titanium base, the implant. This is screw-shaped and is screwed down into the jawbone into the socket formerly occupied by the natural tooth root. The body accepts titanium, so the bone immediately starts growing around the implant, making it a part of the jawbone. This process takes from 3-6 months, depending upon the patient’s bone growth rate.
This integration into the jaw is the key to why implants are so great. Once we attach a post to the implant and a porcelain artificial tooth to the post, the entire dental implant (the name for the complete prosthetic: implant base, post, and tooth) then functions just like a natural tooth. This is because it stands alone, as a tooth does, and it is anchored into the jaw as a natural tooth is with its root. With an implant, you can eat anything you like (which isn’t the case with bridges because they can break when eating very hard or very sticky foods). And when you do chew with your implant it transfers the energy down into the jawbone, just as a natural tooth does. Caring for an implant is exactly the same as a natural tooth, as well. Finally, a dental implant will last for decades, often the remainder of the patient’s life. That makes the initial investment pay off over the long run.
If you’re missing a tooth, call us at Kalil & Kress, (603) 880-7004, and let’s talk about placing a dental implant.