Implants are currently the best option for replacing missing teeth. Essentially, a titanium implant is placed in the bone where the tooth’s root used to sit, and a crown is placed on top of the implant. Unlike a denture, it isn’t bulky and is fixed in place. Unlike a bridge it doesn’t affect the neighboring teeth and replaces both the crown and root of the tooth, helping to maintain bone in the area. Implants aren’t just limited to single teeth, either. They can also be used to stabilize dentures or for replacing multiple teeth.
Dental Implant and Supportive Services:
- surgical placement of implants
- crowns and bridges supported by implants
- dentures secured or replaced by implants
- gum and bone grafting
Click on the FAQ’s below to explore the answers to common questions about implants.
Q: What are my options if I have missing teeth?
With many state-of-the-art dental treatments and prevention options available in dentistry today; there are fewer reasons for having to extract teeth. When something does go wrong with a tooth, we try to do everything possible to restore the tooth to its original function. Removing a tooth is the last option because we know that removal may lead to severe and costly dental and cosmetic problems if the tooth is not replaced.
Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience. Injury, accident, fracture, severe dental decay, and gum disease are the major reasons for having to remove a tooth. If teeth are lost due to injury or have to be removed, it is imperative that they be replaced to avoid cosmetic and dental problems in the future.
When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone that helped to support that tooth begins to atrophy, causing the teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth. Also, the tooth above or below the open space will start to move towards the open space because there is no opposing tooth to bite on. These movements may create problems such as decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth and TMJ (jaw joint) problems. These problems and movements do not result immediately, but will eventually appear, compromising your chewing abilities, the health of your bite and the beauty of your smile.
Options for replacement of missing teeth:
Implants – These are a great way to replace one or more missing teeth. They may also be used to support ill-fitting dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. An artificial tooth is placed on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth. Implants are very stable, j durable and are the most aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option.
Fixed bridges – A bridge is generally made of porcelain or composite material and is anchored permanently to natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth site. The benefit of this type of bridge is that it is fixed and is very sturdy. The disadvantage is that in order to create a fixed appliance, two healthy, natural teeth will have to be filed down and crowned to hold the bridge in place.
Dentures – This type of tooth replacement is used when most or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. Dentures are removable artificial teeth that are made to closely resemble the patient’s original teeth.
If you are missing teeth, ask us if they need replacement and what options are available to you. Together I we will select the best replacement option for your particular case. Prevention and early treatment is always less involved and less costly than delaying treatment and allowing a serious problem to develop.
Q: What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural j tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the biocompatible properties of titanium, I a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be ! used in solutions for replacing single or multiple missing teeth.
Q: Why dental implants?
There are a number of reasons why you should consider a dental implant: Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone can shrink. This shrinkage will make your face look older than it is. There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is needed after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
Q: Who is a candidate?
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders, such as diabetes or heart disease or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis.
Q: Can someone have dental implants put in if they still have teeth?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. The determining factor is the amount of available bone. Your dentist is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.
Q: Is age a problem?
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you are probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history.
Q: What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?
Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth – crown and root – shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process whereas a traditional denture or dental bridge does not.
Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.
Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable and no adjustment is needed after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
Q: How will dental implants affect my life?
Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose; but most importantly, dental implants often improve one’s quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their teeth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.
Q: Will my new teeth look natural?
When dental implants are used in combination with modem restorative dentistry their appearance, comfort, and function is very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.
Q: Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure I use with my natural teeth?
Yes, following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth.
Q: How will I care for my dental implants?
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly just like your natural teeth with brushing and flossing as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist.