The loss of just one adult tooth affects more than just your smile. 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 sometimes reported feeling incomplete or embarrassed of their appearance, and sometimes even isolate themselves due to depression and anxiety.
At Dental Depot, we understand that losing a tooth can be a sensitive issue, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We encourage patients who have experienced tooth loss to explore their replacement options as soon as possible to avoid bone loss, which can negatively affect a person’s candidacy for some tooth replacement treatments, and to return their confidence.
There are a variety of tooth replacement options available today, all of which can help preserve the shape, strength, and function of your mouth, teeth, and jaws. The right solution for you will depend on a number of factors, such as your age, how many teeth you’re missing, the current health and condition of your jaw, your lifestyle, and your preferences.
Dental implants are one of the most successful and highly recommended dental restoration options, and with advancements in technology and techniques, more people than ever are now candidates. All-on-4 dental implants and zygomatic implants make dental implants possible even for patients with poor jaw bone density, and, and, thanks to tools like digital x-rays, intraoral 3D imaging, cone beam computed tomography, and soft tissue laser, the procedure itself is less invasive, more reliable, and more predictable.
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.
Though the term is used to describe the entire procedure and prosthetic, dental implants actually only refer to the tiny titanium posts implanted into the jaw bone, which are then covered with an abutment and a crown, or artificial tooth.
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 biologically inert and body-safe titanium, the bone surrounding the implant will generate new tissue and integrate to the implant in a process called osseointegration. 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, on average, at least six months to complete, although this can vary based on individual treatment needs.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or an entire arch, and can be used even in patients who are missing all their teeth.
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.
Because they sit above the gum line and do not stimulate the jaw bone, restorations like dentures and bridges are susceptible to shifts in the shape and size of the jaw, requiring adjustments and refitting. They can also sustain wear and tear over time and may need to be replaced. Dental implants never need adjusting and help preserve the shape and health of the jaw.
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.
At Dental Depot, we’re committed to helping every Oklahoman achieve the beautiful, healthy smile they deserve. Our team of professionals includes prosthodontists, oral surgeons, and orthodontists, in addition to general dentists with extensive experience in dental prosthetics, all of whom use the latest in technology and best practices to deliver the comprehensive care you need for a lifetime of good oral health.