Are you tired of having missing teeth? Are you ready to trade in your dentures or dental bridges for a more permanent solution? Dental implants with Dr. Sonny Kim could be just the solution you’re looking for here in Reston, VA. Take a look below as we break down what dental implants are made of and what makes them so successful for patients with missing teeth.
First, let’s take a look at the different pieces of a dental implant and how they fit together.
Titanium Fixture: This piece is the first to be placed into the jawbone, and is what triggers the process of osseointegration (which you can read more about below). The fixture is shaped like a screw, and once it’s placed into the jawbone, it’s left to heal. This process could take weeks or even months to complete, depending on the condition of the patient.
Abutment: After the fixture is complete, along with a period of healing, Dr. Kim will next place the abutment. This piece is shaped somewhat like a thimble and caps the implant fixture. The gums are then left to heal around it and secure it to the jaw.
Restoration: This final piece to the puzzle is also what brings the whole thing together: it’s the crown itself! The restoration is created in-lab and customized by Dr. Kim. We can shape and color this crown so that it matches the rest of your teeth.
Osseointegration is the main reason that dental implants have been so successful: it’s a fusion process wherein the titanium in the implant bonds with the human bone. Unlike dentures and dental bridges, this is what makes dental implants so durable and long-lasting. In addition, osseointegration has the added bonus of helping the jawbone to heal from the loss. Without this type of bond it can be difficult for the bone to heal, resulting in a weakened jawbone, more tooth loss, a hollowing of the cheeks, and other signs of premature aging. With osseointegration at hand, you can essentially reverse these effects.
You may be asking yourself, is this process of osseointegration a new discovery? While primitive dental implants have been around for centuries, osseointegration is relatively new. Like many discoveries in history, it was discovered wholly by accident. In the late 1950s, a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark and his team were researching titanium devices in rabbit’s legs. When the experiment was finished, they went to remove the devices and were shocked to discover that they had begun to fuse with the rabbit’s bones. While they eventually removed them, Dr. Branemark was intrigued by this discovery. He applied this new knowledge to the field of dental implantology and became known as the “father of modern implantology.”
Dental implants also offer a whole host of benefits that have helped improve the lives of our patients. Take a look below at just a few of the benefits that they have raved about:
One of the biggest worries for our patients is that their restoration treatments will look painfully obvious to the casual observer who glances at their smile, but this isn’t true. The titanium parts of your implant will be hidden underneath your gums, placed in the jawbone, and the tooth restoration will be hand-crafted to look like one of your natural teeth. We can control the shape and shade of your new tooth so that it matches the rest of your smile flawlessly.
Are you worried that your dental implant won’t be able to withstand your favorite food? Aside from hard nuts and meat bones, you don’t have anything to worry about. Dental implants are just as durable as your natural teeth. It’ll help improve your bite pressure, enabling you to tackle those foods you love so much. Just be sure to not use your implant to chew on pen caps, tear through plastic, or other ways you aren’t supposed to use your teeth, as this could damage the restoration.
Thanks to the process of osseointegration (see the section above), there’s an added bonus of your dental implant helping to improve the condition of your jawbone. Osseointegration triggers regeneration, which can help the jawbone heal from the effects of tooth decay, gum disease, and more. It’s like reviving your jawbone with implants.
Compared to the number of times that patients have to replace their dentures or bridges, dental implants tend to last much longer. If your implants are cared for properly, with daily brushing and check-ups with Dr. Kim, then your implant has the potential to last you a lifetime.
Take the first step on your dental implant journey today by contacting Dr. Sonny Kim, and see if you qualify for this unique tooth replacement treatment.