You have several options for replacing a missing tooth, including a removable partial denture, a fixed bridge or a dental implant. All of these options restore the empty space left by a missing tooth. However, a dental implant is the only way to replace both the root and the crown of the tooth. In turn, giving you a permanent solution that most closely resembles your natural teeth.
Fixed bridges may need to be replaced every seven to nine years. Dental implants may last a lifetime with proper care. Additionally, dental implants may help prevent further decay or gum disease. To explain, a dental implant leaves the adjacent teeth untouched and preserves the bone of the jaw. Perhaps, the most important feature of a dental implant is the prevention of bone loss.
The key to a successful dental implant procedure is careful planning and experience. Dr. Jeffrey Gregson has extensive experience in placing implants. He is also skilled in surgically removing a tooth and preparing the area with a bone graft or sinus lift.
A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a tooth root, usually made from titanium. The small threaded titanium posts integrate as a permanent part of your jaw. In due time, your new implant will serve as a solid base for aesthetic, lifelike restorations.
There are many different implant systems available and when competently used they all deliver a highly predictable restorative procedure.
The main aim during the placement of any implant is to achieve immediate close contact with the surrounding bone. Over time further growth of bone onto the implant surface enhances the stability of the implant. In order to support replacement teeth, dental implants normally have some form of internal screw thread or post space that allows a variety of components to be fitted. Once fitted, these components provide the foundation for long-term support of crowns, bridges or dentures.
Typically, a dental crown is supported by one post, a bridge by two or more posts, and a full denture by four or more posts. Abutments are then affixed to the tops of the implants to securely hold your restorations in place. These abutments and your dental implants create a lasting solution for tooth loss, and with proper care, can last a lifetime.
Aside from the obvious oral health benefits, implants deliver a wide array of additional advantages. Dental implants offer:
Dental implants are resilient and strong. They commonly last a lifetime with proper care, becoming a permanent part of your oral anatomy.
Restored dental implants can look and feel just like natural teeth. Modern restorative materials can be color-matched to blend with your smile for a brilliant, lifelike appearance.
When you are missing teeth, you may find yourself covering your mouth when you laugh or smile. Dental implants fill in the gaps for an aesthetic appearance and a considerable boost in self-esteem.
Traditional removable dentures can slip and lead to slurred and unclear speech. Dental implants function like natural teeth, so you can speak with confidence.
Once your jaw has healed around your implants, you will have no dietary restrictions. You can continue to eat the foods you love without worry.
Unlike natural teeth, dental implants are not susceptible to tooth decay. However, it is important to brush and floss to avoid gingivitis and gum disease.
Dental implants are dependable and reliable when placed by an experienced dentist. Compared to alternative replacement options, implants boast an extremely high success rate.
When receiving a traditional dental bridge, your adjacent teeth must be altered to support the restoration. With dental implants, your healthy teeth are left intact, as implant placement does not affect healthy tooth structure.
This is one of the most important features of dental implants. Once in place and supporting teeth, everyday functional forces (eating, smiling, talking) stimulate the surrounding bone, which responds by becoming stronger and denser. Like all things, there are limits as to how much an implant can do. For that reason, you may require one or more procedures to prepare your oral cavity for implantation.
Before having dental implants placed, our dentists will follow routine steps to assess your oral, medical and general health. He will carefully examine your oral cavity, including the area of your mouth where the potential implant is to be placed. Further, Dr. Gregson will assess your bite and evaluate any aesthetic concerns.
Additionally, you will take digital x-rays and special radiographs with our cone beam scanner. The cone beam computed tomography, or CBCT provides a view below the gum line. At this point, we can determine if you require any preparatory procedures to increase the chances of successful treatment.
Some common preparatory procedures include:
One or more restorative procedures may be necessary to prepare your oral cavity. On the other hand, some can simply improve the longevity or durability of your results.
Both a bridge and a dental implant are excellent solutions for replacing a missing tooth.
A bridge provides a replacement tooth by using teeth on either side of the missing tooth for support. Teeth adjacent to the missing tooth (or teeth) will need to be reduced, which may compromise the healthy teeth. Since a bridge does not replace the missing root structure, you are at an increased risk of bone loss over time. Keeping a bridge clean requires frequent cleaning to prevent bacteria buildup.
Another option is a dental implant, which serves as an artificial root, anchoring the replacement tooth in place. This also helps protect and preserve the area from tissue loss and recession. An implant can be cared for just like any natural tooth. It also does not require the removal of potentially healthy tooth structure from the neighboring teeth to support it.
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