Losing your teeth has a serious impact on your life. Things you once did with little thought, such as eating and speaking, become challenging. The quality of your smile diminishes, and your confidence suffers. Without teeth, the stimulation that your jaw relies on decreases, causing the bone to grow weak. The jaw can begin to change shape, sending your healthy teeth out of alignment. Replacing missing teeth, whether you are missing one or you are missing all of them, is essential for giving you back your life.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a highly popular treatment for replacing missing teeth that are the result of a complete accident. In the early 1950s, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon was studying bone healing and regeneration when he discovered that a titanium cylinder that he had placed in a rabbit femur was being integrated into the bone. Further research and development led to the placement of the first implants in the 1960s. Since their discovery, further research and development has been done, making implants what they are today.
Dental Implants consist of three parts:
- Titanium posts. The actual implant is a titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone. As you heal, the bone fuses to the implant in a process known as osseointegration. The implant is turned into stable support for your new teeth.
- Abutments. The abutment is a connector that is placed at the end of the implant. It provides stability for your new crown.
- Crowns. The crown, made from ceramic, replaces the visible section of your missing tooth, restoring biting, chewing, speaking, and your smile.
Customizing Treatment for Your Needs
Implants can be used to treat some different tooth loss situations. There are several different types of dental implants.
- Single tooth implants. One post supports a single crown.
- Multiple tooth implants. One or more posts support two or more consecutive crowns, replacing multiple missing teeth in a single area of your mouth.
- Implant supported dentures. This treatment uses 6 to 8 implants to support a full arch of replacement teeth.
- All-on-4. This treatment is often used when an individual is missing an entire arch of teeth but lacks the necessary bone mass in the jaw to support a regular implant supported denture.
Why Dental Implants?
There are some different reasons why dental implants are an ideal treatment. Benefits include such things as:
- They look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. No one will be able to tell that he or she are there. You are also able to bite, chew and speak normally again.
- Improved nutrition.
- Your smile, and your confidence improve.
- Greater comfort. Your crowns are supported by the implants themselves, rather than your gums.
- Easy to care for. Unlike dentures, implants can be cared for just like your natural teeth.
- Your adjacent teeth do not need to be altered in any way.
- Implants integrate into the jawbone, providing a permanent solution to tooth loss. The posts also stimulate your jawbone, preventing bone loss in the jaw. This helps to maintain the strength and integrity of the bone.
Do Dental Implants Have Any Drawbacks?
While implants have several advantages, there are a few drawbacks.
- Treatment requires surgery, and a lengthy recovery.
- Implants can be expensive.
- If you have insufficient bone mass in your jaw, implants may not be possible unless a bone graft is performed.
If you are missing all of the teeth in a single arch, you may be a candidate for All-on-4. During your consultation, we will discuss your specific situation and all of the options available to you.
When you lose your teeth, it is important to have them replaced as soon as possible. To find out if dental implants are the solution for you, call us to schedule your appointment today at (480) 545-8700.