What is a dental implant?
Today, the preferred method of tooth replacement is a dental implant. They replace missing tooth roots and form a stable foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Dental implants also help preserve the remaining bone by providing the stimulation previously provided by the natural tooth roots.
Implants are made of a bio-compatible material called titanium, which cannot decay. One advantage of implants is that they stimulate bone growth, and thus, prevent future bone loss.
What are the advantages of choosing dental implants?
- Maintain Anatomy: If you have missing teeth, the bone begins to shrink over time. Unhealthy bone loss can make your jaw line recede and change your facial structure. Dental implants can help prevent deterioration of the jawbone so your face retains its natural shape.
- Keeping your teeth healthy: A better long-term alternative to bridgework, dental implants eliminate the need to grind down healthy teeth when replacing one or more adjacent teeth. Your own natural healthy teeth are not compromised.
- Security: Securely anchored dental implants do not slip or move. This eliminates some of the key problems of dentures, including poor fit, gum irritation and pain from exposed nerves. The result is superior comfort, reliability, and freedom from embarrassment
Advantages of Dental Implants over Dentures or a Fixed Bridge
- Aesthetic: Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth! Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures.
- Tooth-saving: Dental implants don't sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!
- Confidence: Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures.
- Reliable: The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
A careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history must be made to determine whether you can safely have a tooth removed. If you're healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you're healthy enough to receive dental implants.
Is there any pain or discomfort involved?
Most patients report very little discomfort and that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they anticipated. Anesthesia and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort during the procedure.
How do we maintain dental implants?
Your dental practitioner will guide you on the proper care and maintenance of your new implants before, during and after the procedure. By following a regular routine of careful oral hygiene and regular checkups, your implants will look, function and feel great for many years to come.
Will I ever be without my teeth?
This depends on your situation. Most patients can leave the office wearing some type of temporary prosthesis.
How long do implants last?
An implant, although made of metal, still requires continued care after placement. This includes patient home care and professional maintenance. The life of the implant varies with factors of patient health (diabetes, HIV, metabolic bone disease), patient habits (smoking, oral hygiene) and structural overload.
It is impossible to predict exactly how long an implant will last, therefore it is impossible to predict or guarantee success. If an implant fails it may be replaced, however the prosthesis (overdenture/crowns) will need to be remade.
Multiple Tooth Replacement