When patients lose a tooth or teeth for any reason or they are born without a tooth or multiple teeth dental implants are an ideal option for patients with good general oral health. Implants look and feel like your own teeth and can last for a very long time if given the proper placement and maintenance.
Dental implants aid in replacing a single tooth, several teeth or even all of your teeth. A face without teeth can sag and appear sad. Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile. Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing one or more teeth can lead to loss and deterioration of some of the jawbone. When it is not being used to support a natural tooth, the jawbone resorbs, losing its strength and firmness. When a tooth goes missing and not replaced teeth often shift around which can cause additional problems in chewing and appearance.
The implant itself looks like a medical screw or cylinder and is placed into the jawbone. Over the period of 3-6 months, the implant and jawbone bond together to provide an anchor for the crown. An abutment is used as an extension to complete the foundation for the new tooth to be attached.
Sometimes several teeth need to be replaced, and implant-supported bridges are a better option as opposed to fixed bridges or removable partial dentures. The bone is better preserved with implant-supported bridges as it replaces some of your tooth roots and keeps the bone stronger.
Replacing all of your teeth is also possible with implant-supported full bridges or implant-supported dentures. Patients are able to preserve their natural bite with implants and achieve more comfort and stability than with conventional dentures.
Why are Implants Better than Dentures & Bridges?
- Dental implant restorations can look more natural and youthful.
- Adjacent teeth do not have to be cut down to support an implant, such as with bridgework. This is significant for your overall oral health by leaving more of your own teeth untouched. With a tooth-supported fixed bridge, the adjacent teeth are ground down to support the fixed bridge.
- Dental implants are integrated into the structure of your bone helping to prevent bone loss and gum recession that can sometimes be attributed to bridgework and dentures.
- Dental implants function very much as your natural teeth do offering you more comfort and stability than conventional dentures.