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Those people who have lost a tooth due to an oral health issue or dental trauma may be all too familiar with the embarrassment of an uneven smile and the fact it makes socialising in unfamiliar scenarios difficult.
Thankfully, the emergence of cosmetic dentistry as an option for all individuals looking to improve the appearance of their pearly whites has helped patients around the world, with a wide selection of choice available for filling gaps.
Whatever the reason for losing teeth, they do need to be replaced for both aesthetic and functional reasons. While the most common treatments for the problem are dentures or a fixed bridge, dental implants are becoming increasingly popular among those people hoping for a long-term solution.
This invention is an artificial replacement for the root portion of the natural tooth and is installed into a pre-drilled socket in the jaw bone to support a crown, bridge or secure a denture firmly in place.
Usually manufactured from titanium – a material that is well tolerated by bone – dental implants aim to achieve a close contact between the outer surface of the embedding and the surrounding bone tissue to encourage them to fuse together.
In the past, the only alternative to a removable denture was drilling a dental implant, but for some people, this option is not viable due to the expense and surgery involved, which can cause some patients a lot of discomfort.
A mini version of the traditional fitting is a newer solution that could provide a better option for those looking to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible. They are usually only one-third of the cost of a full implant, but they offer many of the same benefits.
With this version also getting fixed into the jaw, it helps avoid problems associated with removable dentures when they become loose and ill-fitting over time.
In the case of traditional implants, the gum where the installation is to be placed is cut and lifted while a small hole is drilled in the jawbone at the precise location where the tooth will be fixed.
The titanium appliance is tightly fitted into this socket and the tissue is stitched back over the top. If there is insufficient bone material to accommodate the implement, a grafting procedure may be required or mini implants will be utilised if suitable.
While this procedure may seem extremely daunting for the majority of individuals, many can rest assured that the process is simpler using the smaller devices.
The treatment for mini implants is much less painful and heals significantly faster than the conventional method, during which a dentist simply places a few small anchor points into the jaw that are no bigger than the width of a toothpick and hold the false pearly white securely in place.
At the top of the mini implant, which is also produced using titanium, a rubber ring is attached that will cushion the tooth so it does not sit heavily or grate the gum tissue beneath it – meaning this option is much more comfortable than a removable denture.
In addition, the way the device sits in the mouth means it does allow for a slight degree of movement, but patients should rest assured that it will not come loose and, as soon as the surrounding tissue is fully healed, individuals will be able to enjoy a wider range of food than they would with other options.
There are a number of advantages to installing dental implants in favour of a range of other options, which have resulted in this method becoming one of the most popular forms of treatment available.
Improved function – When the device has fully integrated into the jaw, it functions just as well as natural teeth and allows people to speak with complete confidence and sample a wide range of foods that otherwise would be restricted.
Better dental hygiene – No special cleaning instructions and extra attention are required with dental implants, as simple brushing, flossing and regular check-ups with a dental professional are adequate.
Reduced bone loss – Usually, the bone tissue surrounding the root of a tooth is maintained by the body’s natural renewal process, but this can be left in jeopardy in cases when a pearly white is lost.
However, the installation of a dental implant can actually stimulate the bone growth and production, while preventing loss of valuable structure.
Improved appearance – When this is carried out correctly, individuals are able to enjoy a new tooth that is indistinguishable from the surrounding natural parts of the mouth. This is revolutionary compared to dentures, which often have unsightly metal clasps to hold them in place.
While mini implants certainly provide the same benefits for individuals as their larger counterparts, there are also a number of advantages of opting for the smaller solution that could encourage more people to seek this type of treatment.
Reduced cost – The cheaper price of this course of action means the treatment is easily accessible for those who are unable to afford more expensive types of cosmetic dentistry.
Minimal surgery required – Compared to full implants, the procedure to install the device is extremely limited, which also helps to reduce the price.
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