What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a surgical way to replace missing teeth. It involves inserting a small biologically compatible post (usually made from titanium) into the jawbone, in effect replacing the root of the missing tooth. Affixed to this is a custom “tooth portion” called an abutment. This acts as a support for the final restoration. A replacement tooth, known as a crown, is attached to the abutment.
Why is it important to replace missing teeth with dental implants?
Although there is an aesthetic fact to consider — missing teeth have much bigger impact. Loss of function due to a missing tooth leads to loss of bone, thereby impacting the adjacent teeth and taking away their supporting bone, this is a natural phenomenon across all body parts knows as Disuse Atrophy. A good analogy is, “Why do astronauts lose muscles in space? or “Why does our hand become super skinny when we have a fracture and are stuck in a cast for a few weeks?” The answer is, anything in the human body that does not receive loading forces like it should, shrinks. The bone in the jaws is no exception to this.Request Appointment
Dental implants can help with:
Teeth are essential to chewing food. Chewed food is easier to digest and helps reduce heartburn and possible esophagus blockage. So, loss of teeth leads to reduced nutritional quality making people eat a softer more processed diet, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels and consequent health issues like diabetes and high cholesterol.
Believe it or not, teeth are essential to maintaining facial bone architecture. Loss of teeth means loss of facial architecture and poor breathing quality leading to increased upper respiratory tract infections and consequent health issues from poor sleep quality including heart disease. YES! Everything in the body is connected!
Teeth are the gatekeepers of the mouth. Without them, the tongue and throat are unprotected from food particles and bacteria that shouldn’t be there.
Probably the first noticeable difference when people get new teeth is the difference in their speech. Lisping and the unwanted release of saliva come to a stop.
What makes dental implants better than bridges and dentures?
A bridge is a false tooth. Unlike an implant that is surgically attached, a bridge and is held in place by the teeth surrounding your missing tooth. They are made from porcelain and plastic to resemble your other teeth
You may have seen movies where older people take out “their teeth” before they eat or go to bed, placing them in a glass of water. What they are taking out are their dentures. They are made of plastic and metal and fill the gaps between one or several missing teeth. Dentures resemble your natural teeth but “clip” into place. These are cheaper than implants and bridges and might be recommended when the teeth around your dental space might not be strong enough to support a bridge. Generally, though they are not recommended by dentists anymore. However, as you’ll see, certain dental implants can be used in conjunction with both bridges and dentures.
Dental Implants vs Dental Bridges & Dentures
With regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
Closest option to a natural tooth
Because a dental implant replaces both the root and a tooth, it prevents any bone loss and does all the same functions that a natural tooth can perform to maintain oral health.
Doesn't rely on surrounding teeth
As a dental implant is a free-standing piece of dental architecture with its own support system, there is no reliance on surrounding teeth as with a dental bridge.
High success rate
The success rate of implants over 10 years is around 90-95% according to reputable sources.
How do I know if I’m a good candidate for Dental Implants?
Is there enough bone to secure the implant?
Are the tissues in your mouth healthy?
Are they free of oral diseases including gum disease and decay?
Do you have any pre-existing health concerns that could affect your healing?
Do you have any speech impediments that could be improved by a dental implant?