Missing one or more teeth can make life not only annoying, but hard. Thankfully, modern dental science has come a long way in figuring out ways to solve tooth loss. Dental implants especially are the pinnacle of tooth replacement technology, as they replace not only the lost crown, but the root as well. However, you typically see people get dental implants for their missing molars. Can dental implants replace front teeth too? Let’s find out.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants have three main components:
- Implant: A small, screw-shaped titanium post that is surgically inserted directly into the jawbone to replace the root of a lost tooth.
- Abutment: A metal connector that attaches the implant to the crown.
- Crown: The visible portion of the tooth above the gumline. Can be made of ceramic, porcelain, or metal.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
After your tooth has been removed, your dentist will place a dental implant into your jawbone via a surgical procedure. Over a period of a few months, your jawbone will actually start to grow around the implant post. This is because titanium is completely biocompatible, meaning it will not be rejected by the body. After this process, known as osseointegration, is complete, your dentist will place a restoration, like a crown, bridge, or denture, over your implant to make it appear and function just like a natural tooth.
Just because titanium is compatible with the human body doesn’t mean the body won’t sometimes reject the implant for another reason. If you smoke, your implant is like to fail. Why? Tobacco interferes with the body’s natural healing process, so it might make osseointegration a failure. In addition, if you have a preexisting condition, like cancer or diabetes, you might experience implant failure. Talk to your primary care doctor about how to manage your condition before seeking out dental implants.
Can Dental Implants Replace Front Teeth?
In most cases, dental implants are used to replace a premolar or molar. This is because these teeth, which are located toward the back of the mouth, are exposed to more wear and tear through chewing every day, so they are more likely to be lost. However, front teeth, also known as incisors, can be lost as well, although it’s not as common as lost molars. As a result, dental implants can definitely be used to replace front teeth.
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are truly in a class of their own. They can be used to replace a tooth no matter where in the mouth it’s located. If you’re missing a tooth, especially a noticeable front tooth, ask your dentist if a dental implant would be right for you.
About the Author
Dr. Richard A. Cea has more than 25 years of experience as a dentist, 18 of which have been spent serving patients in the Colorado Springs community. He is a graduate of Marquette University, as well as a member of several professional organizations, including the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, and the American Dental Association. He can perform all parts of the dental implant process right in his office, from placement to restoration. If you’re missing teeth, let Dr. Cea solve your problem by calling (719) 637-1772.