TAKE BACK YOUR SMILE WITH DENTAL IMPLANTS!

While missing one or more teeth may make chewing, biting, and smiling uncomfortable, for many it can also be a great source of embarrassment. So much so, that dental patients find themselves foregoing appointments, avoiding public spaces, and isolating themselves from friends and family. This, in turn, causes one a great deal of self-consciousness and can cost someone their self-confidence. Dental implants can change all that, allowing patients to take back their smiles, and restore both their appearance and self-esteem.

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WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?

Dental implants are surgical grade titanium posts that are inserted into the jawbone in the spaces where you’re missing teeth. Your jawbone will fuse with the titanium post, which forms a strong foundation for the artificial tooth that sits atop. 3-6 months after the initial surgery, a small connector will be placed on top of the implant, which will hold your new tooth in place. The implanted tooth consists of three parts:

  1. The implant itself is the synthetic tooth root, often referred to as the “screw” that gets placed directly into the jawbone. 

  2. The abutment is the small connector that joins the implant and the crown that sits on top. 

  3. The crown is the visible tooth portion that you can see when you smile.

Implants are considered the gold standard of dental restoration where it concerns replacing missing teeth as they can be used for single and multiple teeth, and they don’t require the removal of healthy tooth structure or need support from adjacent teeth.


WHY DO MISSING TEETH NEED TO BE REPLACED?

Besides the negative impact that missing teeth have on your mental health, there are major oral concerns that can arise if you do not take the necessary steps to restore your smile.

These include:

Teeth Shifting: when you have a gap in your smile, the surrounding teeth can shift in an attempt to fill in the open space. This can cause issues with the uniformity of your smile, and the alignment of your bite.

Grinding and Clenching: missing teeth can cause you to change the way you bite and chew, which can lead to clenching and grinding of the teeth (bruxism). This can put unnecessary stress on your remaining teeth, leading to further damage to the entire mouth.

Jawbone Deterioration: the roots of your teeth are what stimulate the jawbone to keep it healthy. When you lose a tooth, that root is no longer present, which can cause the bone to weaken, and deteriorate over time. This jawbone deterioration can lead to further tooth loss. Dental implants provide the necessary stimulation to keep your jawbone healthy and prevent further deterioration.

Premature Aging: missing teeth can cause you to look older as the skin around the mouth doesn’t have the support it needs, and so it begins to sag. This leads to wrinkles and a sunken or aging appearance.

3 COMMON OPTIONS FOR REPLACING MISSING TEETH WITH DENTAL IMPLANTS

If you choose to go with dental implants, there are 3 general options to choose from: fixed implant-supported denture, removable implant-supported denture, and upper/lower dentures.

1. Fixed Implant-Supported Dentures: these are a great option for patients who are missing all of your upper or lower teeth, permitting that the quality and quantity of the jawbone is high. With fixed implant-supported dentures, 4-6 implants are surgically placed in the upper and lower arches of the jawbone and allowed to fuse.

Then a full set of teeth (an abutment and crown) are firmly attached to the implants to create a very secure, natural-looking smile. More than 90% of patients report that they have healthy function with these types of implants.


2. Removable Implant-Supported Denture: these are a great option for patients not wanting to make the full leap to permanently fixed dentures. Rather, a removable implant-supported denture will have 4 implants fused in the upper, and 2 implants fused in the lower jawbone to support the dentures.

The denture itself can snap on and off the implants, so that patients can remove them and clean them. 70% of patients report that they have healthy function with these types of implants. 


3. Upper/Lower Dentures: these are traditional upper and lower dentures that are not secured in place with dental implants, and are removable. While these are the most affordable option, they are also the least secure, and can lead to issues with eating and speaking.

Most patients tolerate the upper denture well, but the lower dentures may require dental implants alongside them to ensure comfort and function. 5-10% of patients report healthy function with these kinds of dentures.

 

CHOOSING DENTAL IMPLANTS OVER OTHER ALTERNATIVES?

While there are several alternative options to dental implants, such as partial and full dentures, and dental bridges, these come with their own host of issues. For instance, partial and full dentures are not fully secured, and can cause difficulties with speaking, chewing, eating, and discomfort; plus they do not address bone shrinkage.

Dental bridges are fixed solutions that are secure in the mouth, but you need to have supporting teeth around the open space. These teeth are filed down, capped, and used to keep the dental bridge in place, which works up until these supporting teeth have problems. While that’s not to say that these teeth will have issues, your oral hygiene routine needs to be impeccable with dental bridges.

Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that can prevent further jawbone deterioration and teeth shifting while being maintained like a natural tooth. You can brush it, floss it, and rinse your mouth out as if it were real. The best part is, they don’t decay, will never need a root canal, and they look and feel real too!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Am I a Good Candidate/In Good Health/Have Enough Bone?

A: A medical evaluation will determine if you are healthy enough for dental implants. Those with uncontrolled health conditions like diabetes may not qualify. A 3D X-ray will be used to determine if you have enough bone for the implants, and if not, if bone grafting can be done. Finally, most adults are great candidates for dental implants, permitting that they have enough bone and their medical history is clear.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Insert a Dental Implant?

A: Around 30-45 minutes/implant.

Q: Will I Have No Teeth During Treatment?

A: Definitely not! You will never walk around with no teeth at all. You will be given a temporary solution while you’re healing, and up until your final restoration is complete.

Q: Will There Be Pain During the Procedure?

A: You won’t have any pain during any stages of the procedure. Spring Haven Dental provides local, general, and IV sedation for patients.

Q: How Long To Receive My Permanent Teeth?

A: This varies depending on the treatment option you’re receiving, but is generally 4-7 months.

Q: What’s the Average Success Rate?

A: Dental implant restoration is very successful, sitting at 95% across past studies.

Q: How Long Do Dental Implants Last For?

A: When properly cared for, they can last you a lifetime! This means routine maintenance, regular dental visits, and excellent oral hygiene habits.

Q: How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?

A: Treat them like regular teeth! Brush them twice a day, floss them at least once a day, and have your teeth regularly seen by a dental hygienist.

Q: Will Insurance Help Cover the Cost?

A: A portion of your treatment may be covered by your insurance provider. We can help you determine the coverage amount, and what claims you need to file with your insurance company, during your consultation with us.

A SMILE THAT LASTS A LIFETIME

Dental implants are a life-changing solution for people missing one or more teeth. Not only do they improve the aesthetics of your smile, but they also provide several functional benefits and can help to preserve your oral health. If you’re considering dental implants, reach out to us here at Spring Haven Dental for a consultation to discuss which dental implant options are right for you.

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