The loss of just one adult tooth can throw off your entire oral health system. Tooth loss can lead to bone atrophy, leaving neighboring teeth unsupported and putting you at risk for further tooth loss. Patients who are missing multiple teeth may also face additional risks to their oral and overall health, including a negative impact on the person’s emotional well-being. People who have suffered tooth loss have reported feeling incomplete or embarrassed of their appearance, and sometimes even isolate themselves due to depression and anxiety.
We understand that losing a tooth is a delicate emotional issue, however we encourage patients to explore their dental implant options as soon as possible to avoid rapid bone loss which can negatively affect a person’s candidacy for some tooth replacement treatments.
You don’t have to go on living with missing teeth! Implant dentistry makes it possible to surgically replace missing teeth with new prosthetic teeth that look, feel and perform like natural teeth.
Tooth replacement options such as fixed bridges and dentures offer only limited relief from the side effects of tooth loss. They also can have side effects of their own, such as the need to replace bridges in order to avoid bone loss, or an uncomfortable fit with dentures.
Dental implants are different. Dental implants do more than simply replace missing teeth above the gum line. They also act as an anchor below the gum line and stimulate the bone just like natural teeth would. Plus, dental implants are durable, lasting 10 to 15 years longer than other prosthetic options.
A dental implant replaces the lost roots of teeth. Overlooked by other prosthetics (which only replace the visible crowns of teeth), the roots of teeth are very important for maintaining healthy bone mass. Once a tooth is lost, bone is left unstimulated. Because dental implants are made from a strong and bio-compatible titanium, the bone surrounding the implant will generate new tissue and integrate to the implant. As the implant stabilizes, a permanent prosthetic such as a dental crown or series of dental crowns (a bridge) can be attached to an abutment that slightly protrudes through the gums.
Once the prosthetic is secured to the implant, a patient’s smile is beautifully restored with a very natural looking and functioning tooth replacement. The entire process from implant to placement of the crown typically takes six months to complete, although this can vary based on individual treatment needs.
Dental implants offer unique advantages when compared to other tooth replacement options. First, stabilized implants are very durable and long lasting. Unlike dentures, a dental implant can hold prosthetics firmly for decades, if not the rest of a person’s life. This durability is important for restoring oral function, too, because implants allow patients to eat a full diet of even difficult to chew foods. Dentures tend to become ill fitting over time, while dental implants won’t.
Dental implants also are low maintenance. Unlike dentures, which require removal for cleaning, or bridges that might need water irrigation underneath their crowns, dental implants are cleaned by brushing and flossing, just like your natural teeth.
If you have suffered tooth loss and want to explore your replacement options, schedule your consultation today! During your consultation, our team will answer your questions, provide information about the procedure and perform an exam to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
If for some reason you are not a candidate for dental implants, our team will suggest other tooth replacement options that might be better suited to your particular needs. Our team believes that no one should have to suffer the health or quality of life effects of an incomplete smile.