Curious to find out how dental implants really work? All In One Dental Innovations is ready to provide a thorough explanation of dental implants and their performance as long-term tooth replacements. You can also read our implant guide to learn more!


The Different Parts Of A Dental Implant

Although a dental implant is meant to act as an artificial replacement to natural teeth, implants are composed of similar parts–a “root” and “crown.” These two parts are joined together with a connector piece called an abutment.

The root of the tooth implant is generally composed of a metal material like titanium because of its durability. This metal “root” is shaped in the form of a screw that can be tightly installed into the jawbone of the patient or, in some cases where patients have shallow jawbones, into the gums. The ridges of the screw along with a special bone growth promoting substance coating the screw allow the bone to heal perfectly around the implant. It’s crucial that the bone and gum tissue heal properly around the implant so that it can be held in place without the risk for later maladjustment.

The crown is often composed of porcelain for a natural-looking finish that replicates the appearance of a natural tooth. Artificial crowns can also be composed of metal materials or a mixture of metal and porcelain depending on a patient’s budget as well as their preferences. Porcelain crowns are fairly sturdy and, similarly to the implant’s root, also have a special coating; however, the coating on a crown protects it from potential issues like staining. So long as the crown is regularly cared for with proper hygiene techniques, it will continue to resist these minor damages. Crowns can also be created with a custom shade to match the patient’s other teeth which makes it look even more natural.

The abutment can be composed of a number of materials including gold, other metals, or porcelain. This part of the implant is highly important in its contribution to the structural design of the whole dental implant. The abutment securely fits into the metal post of the implant and rests just above the gums to provide a stable connection to the implant’s crown. By attaching an abutment piece to the implant, the gums have time to heal after the initial installment of the metal post into the jawbone and the abutment provides a stable platform for a permanent crown to be placed later on.


How Does A Dental Implant Function?

With the same functional capabilities as a natural tooth, a dental implant allows the patient to eat, speak, and smile normally. The missing, rotting, or otherwise damaged teeth that implants replace can cause increasing harm to a patient’s overall health. By removing and replacing them with implants, health risks are lowered thus providing the patient the opportunity to focus on improving their dental health rather than preserving it.

Implant dentists devote time and effort into pairing patients with the best implant materials suitable for them to ensure the patient’s comfort as well as the implant’s success. The permanent artificial crowns that top the implant are custom designed to fit perfectly alongside the patient’s other teeth and so that the teeth are properly aligned. Dental pieces that don’t properly fit the patient can cause crowding, pain, and implant failure.

Take a look at what the AAID has to say about the benefits of dental implants:

“Here is why you will enjoy dental implants:  Missing teeth restored with dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth. You brush, floss and visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings, same as you would to care for a natural tooth.”

Along with restoring a smile, a dental implant’s crown also allows the patient to safely break down food without any discomfort or pain. The presence of the implant will also allow the patient to speak regularly without any insecurities about their teeth or whether they will have a lisp sound when forming words.


How Implants Perform Over Time

Over time, a dental implant should perform the same as it did when it was first installed. Implants are fairly durable in comparison to other teeth replacement alternatives like dentures or bridges. Implants require little adjustment or ongoing maintenance outside of regular hygienic care such as brushing, flossing, or rinsing your teeth.

Although implants are durable, they aren’t totally indestructible and can become susceptible to damages like crown staining or chipping if not careful. The protective coating on an implants crown can wear away over time and result in the porcelain’s exposure to tinted or acidic food substances that will cause discoloration. Also, strong impact against the crown can cause chipping and other damages in extreme situations.

If an implant is damaged somehow, it can be easily repaired or replaced but it isn’t a common necessity for most patients. So long as you follow a normal hygiene routine and monitor any changes with the implant, it will continue to perform well over time. Any concerns about the implant or its maintenance should be discussed with your dental health advisor right away to prevent any hidden issues from further developing.


Stay In Touch

If you have any further questions or information you would like access to regarding dental implants and their function, please take the time to call the All In One Dental Innovations practice today! Our number is (925) 828-9811 and we look forward to hearing from you. You can also request an appointment online!

Related article: Are Dental Implants Permanent?