When it comes to replacing missing teeth, whether you are missing just one or an entire mouthful, the next best thing to nature are dental implants. With them, we can literally rebuild your smile from the roots up, providing the most lifelike and durable restoration available today. If you’re ready to stop hiding your smile or missing out on your favorite foods, contact us today to learn what dental implants could do for you.
A dental implant is actually a small prosthetic tooth root that is placed directly into the jaw to support any number of replacement teeth. Dental implants are the only treatment that restores the teeth below the gum line as well as above, and this helps them provide an extremely secure base for the new teeth as well as support the jaw to prevent bone loss. In order to get dental implants, you will first need to undergo a minor surgical procedure. We can perform this in-house to make your implant journey nice and convenient. Thanks to modern techniques and sedation, most patients report feeling very little discomfort both during and after the treatment. Once it is completed, you’ll be given a few months to heal, during which time the implants will naturally bond with the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration, making them even more stable. After that, you’ll return to our office to receive your new replacement teeth.
Single Tooth Implants
A single tooth implant is much like one of your own natural teeth. A small post—usually made of the biocompatible metal titanium—is surgically positioned in your jawbone. With time, the post and surrounding bone tissue integrate to form a solid foundation. This replaces the root of a missing tooth and helps to maintain the natural shape of your jaw. After a few months, the process is completed when your dentist attaches an abutment and dental crown. The post, abutment and crown comprise the entire dental implant that will look, feel and function just like a real tooth. To care for your dental implant, just brush and floss as you usually do. Be sure to schedule regular dental checkups, too, so we can assess the integrity of the implant from time to time.
Implant-Retained Crowns & Bridges
If you are missing a single tooth, we can replace it with what is called an implant-retained crown, and this will consist of three basic components: the implant itself, an all-porcelain dental crown, and a metal connector called an abutment. The crown will be attached to the implant using the abutment, and once this is done, it should be virtually indistinguishable from your real teeth. The crown will be specially shaped and shaded to perfectly blend in with your smile, and you’ll be able to rely on it just like the rest of your teeth.
In the case of a few missing teeth in a row, these implant crowns can also help us build a bridge to close the gap. One or two implant crowns will be placed near the missing ones, and it/they will be bonded to prosthetic teeth to complete the smile. Compared to a traditional bridge, an implant-retained bridge is both stronger and more natural-looking.
One of the most common complaints that denture wearers have is that they can’t trust their teeth to stay in place. They slip and slide around, and people are always afraid that they are going to fall out of their mouth. If this sounds like you, then dental implants can provide the long-term solution you need. After placing a few dental implants into your jaw, we can give you a prosthetic that simply snaps onto them. This hold, when compared to a denture that simply sits on top of your gums, will be much firmer, and it will also last much longer. The implants will support your jaw from within, which will help prevent the bone recession that causes most traditional dentures to lose their fit after just a few years. Plus, implant-retained dentures also allow a patient to have a much stronger bite force, enabling them to enjoy a much more varied and healthy diet.
Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants are often more expensive than their traditional counterparts; however, while the upfront cost may have you second-guessing your decision, you might actually end up saving more money in the long run. The reason is that no two patients are alike and various factors must be considered when formulating an estimate for treatment. If you think dental implants are not a possibility solely because of the number you see in the beginning, you might soon realize the benefits and longevity they provide far outweigh the initial cost.