Missing and damaged teeth are a common problem for many people. If you are missing your natural teeth you may find that there are other things you miss too.
You may miss your natural smile or not being able to eat the food you desire. Some people experience muscle strains and discomfort as the remaining teeth shift. But it doesn’t have to be this way. One of the biggest advances in dentistry is the success of dental implants. The options for replacing missing teeth used to be limited to a bridge or denture. In the former case it was necessary to cut down and crown adjacent healthy teeth in order to attach an artificial tooth to them. With implants this is no longer necessary. As a result, virtually anyone who has lost teeth, from denture wearers to those who have lost healthy teeth in an accident, can once again have secure and strong teeth.
A dental implant is a small man-made titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and allowed to bond with the bone and serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth. Implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. Dental implants are a proven restorative option with a long clinical history. Dental implants preserve the integrity of the facial structure and reduce the inconvenience associated with tooth loss.
Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, disease or decay may be a candidate for dental implants. If one, a few or all teeth are missing, dental implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth. Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history. At this time all your questions can be answered.
With proper care dental implants can last a lifetime as it is made of titanium and will fuse with your jawbone, allowing it to serve as a stable, functional root.
Treatment time will vary depending on your particular situation. Nowadays it is often possible to get well-functioning and aesthetic looking teeth within a few days. In some cases it may be necessary to wait longer before finishing the restoration in order to obtain an optimal result.
The benefits of implant treatment include appearance, the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy your food, and often protection of your remaining teeth and jawbone. Dental implants offer many benefits never before available for the treatment of missing teeth. In short, dental implants will look, feel and function like your real teeth.
Yes! Maintaining care of the implants will help to assure the long-term success of your treatment. You will be responsible for daily plaque removal, which can be accomplished through brushing and flossing around your restoration. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to properly care for your implants. You should visit your dentist at least once a year for maintenance appointments.
Most patients report that there is very little discomfort and that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they anticipated. Implants are placed in a very gentle fashion and care is taken to avoid damage to the various tissues involved. Anaesthetic is used to eliminate any discomfort during the procedure. Your dentist may recommend that you speak with another patient who has already had tooth replacement therapy to assess their personal experience.