What Are Dental Implants?
Implants are artificial roots, which a dentist can build upon to replace any missing teeth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone. The bone then grows around the shaft to form a tight connection, slowing or stopping any bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist will attach the replacement tooth to its artificial root. Implants offer a permanent solution that won’t stress the surrounding teeth and, should any wear out, they can simply be replaced with another on the implanted shafts.
Benefits of Implants
Missing teeth not only diminish your quality of life, but also your self-esteem. Dental implants, however, can help you regain both. A major benefit of implants is their ability to help preserve bone and prevent further deterioration, as well as improve your facial appearance. In addition, the following benefits make implants an attractive choice for tooth replacement:
- Permanent – Unlike traditional dentures that must be removed to eat certain foods or to sleep, implants are permanently fixed to your jaw bone.
- Natural Looking – People won’t know that you have dental implants, unless you tell them. Implants look and feel just like your natural teeth.
- Less Stress – Implants don’t require any support from adjacent teeth, which means they won’t wear down other teeth or place additional stress on them.
- Easy to Maintain – No messy adhesives or metal clasps are required. Simply brush and floss every day, and see the dentist for regular checkups.
- Better Than Extraction – Although implants may initially be more expensive than tooth extraction, in the long-term they are a healthier, more cost-effective choice. Why? If you remove a damaged tooth and do not replace it, the bone surrounding the empty space will deteriorate over time. It also leaves the adjacent teeth more susceptible to decay and injury. Therefore, we never recommend removing a tooth without replacing it.
With dental implants, you can go back to eating the foods you love and smile with confidence once again
Types of Dental Implants We Offer
Whether you need to replace one tooth, several or a full set of teeth, we offer several dental implant solutions.
Single Tooth Implants
Even the loss of a single tooth can affect your oral health. That is why it is important to replace any missing teeth as soon as possible. Although some patients may opt for a conventional bridge, a single tooth implant may be a better choice. With an implant, the adjacent teeth are preserved and the prognosis for long-term stability is better. In some cases, the implant may even be placed immediately after extraction, if the removed tooth is not infected.
Hybrid Implant Dentures
Unlike traditional dentures that shift and can be removed, hybrid implant dentures are permanently fixed to your jawbone using a minimum of four dental implants. This type of implant procedure is beneficial to patients who need an entire row of teeth replaced or those who are tired of the restrictions typically associated with regular dentures. Once in place, hybrid implant dentures can only be removed by an oral surgeon or a dentist.
Implant Retained Dentures
Implant retained dentures differ from other types of implant supported dentures in several ways: (1) the gums absorb the force of your bite, (2) fewer implants are needed to support the dentures, and (3) they are less expensive. Implant retained dentures, however, are not permanent. This means they must be removed at night or for cleaning.
Implants can not only be used as an artificial root for a single tooth, but also as support for an implant bridge. Instead of using natural teeth as an anchor, implant bridges use the implant as the support for the bridge. This alternative to partial dentures has several advantages. First, you get the innate benefit of implants: bone loss prevention and a permanent replacement. Secondly, you only feel the teeth, opposed to unnatural metal supports. And finally, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating.
Partial implants are an excellent choice if you have a few missing teeth, but do not need an entire set replaced. Similar to implant bridges, an implant-supported partial is secure, comfortable and looks like your natural teeth.
Are You a Candidate for Implants?
For an effective, long-term solution for damaged or missing teeth, nothing compares to dental implants. Not all patients, however, are ideal candidates for implants. In general, you must meet the following conditions:
- Healthy Gums
- Sufficient Bone to Anchor the Implant(s)
- Good Oral Health Habits
Heavy smokers, those who suffer from chronic diseases (diabetes, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, etc.), and people with a history of grinding their teeth, generally do not qualify for implants. To find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, schedule an appointment with our office. After an evaluation, we’ll discuss your options and create a treatment plan that will help you achieve a healthier, more confident smile.
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