MISSING TEETH? DO YOU HIDE YOUR SMILE?
Did you know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally? Perhaps you hide your smile because of:
- spaces from missing teeth
- your dentures don’t feel secure
- you have difficulty chewing
- you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence
There is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own natural teeth!
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that a periodontist or prosthodontist places into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth, bridge, or denture. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or several teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other cause.
Though high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth.
Under proper conditions, such as placement by a periodontist and diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for implants.
DENTAL IMPLANTS CAN:
- Act as a tooth root to support crowns, bridges, and dentures
- Replace one or more teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
- Support a bridge
- Eliminate the need for a removable partial denture
- Provide permanent support for a denture, to make it more secure and comfortable
DENTAL IMPLANT POSITIONS
- Endosteal (in the bone): Most commonly used type of implant. The various types include screws, cylinders, or blades surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. Used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures.
- Subperiosteal (on the bone): Placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework’s posts protruding through the gum in order to hold the prosthesis. Used for patients who have minimal bone height.
Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dentures or a Bridge
- Every way you look at it, dental implants are a better solution to the problem of missing teeth.
- Aesthetic dental implants look and feel like your own teeth!
- Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures.
- No one will ever know you have a replacement tooth.
- Tooth-saving dental implants don’t sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth the way a bridge does, because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant.
- More of your own teeth are left untouched; a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!
- Confidence dental implants will allow you once again to speak and eat with comfort and confidence!
- They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures.
- They’ll allow you to say goodbye to worries about misplaced dentures and messy pastes and glues.
- They are reliable: the success rate of dental implants is highly predictable.
- They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, so the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Since periodontists are the dental experts who specialize in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team.
Not only do periodontists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training, and facilities you need to have teeth that look and feel just like your own. A dentist and periodontist may work together to make your dreams come true.
What Is Treatment Like?
This procedure is a team effort between you, your dentist, and Dr. Richter. He will work with your dentist and consult with you to determine where and how your implant should be placed.
Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, Dr. Richter will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs. Click for more information about the treatment options described below.
What Can I Expect After Treatment?
As you know, your teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth so they will require the same care.
In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply! After treatment, Dr. Richter will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth, and gums to make sure they stay healthy.
Dental Implant Restoration Facts
- Durable — Fuses to the bone to make implants the most durable tooth replacement option
- Healthy Oral Solution — Don’t require reduction of bordering teeth
- Long-Lasting — Can last a lifetime if properly maintained
- Natural Looking — Designed to look like natural teeth
- Improve appearance and restore confidence
The Dental Implant Restoration Process
- The dental implant takes the place of the old root in the jaw bone
- Over the next 2 to 6 months, the implant fuses to the bone and becomes an anchor for the artificial tooth.
- The next step is to design the new replacement tooth.
- Once ready, the new tooth is attached to the implant, so the patient will be able to chew and speak normally.
- When a patient loses several teeth, an implant-supported bridge can be created to replace the missing teeth.
TOOTH REPLACEMENT OPTIONS
Replacing a Single Tooth
If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it. A dental implant replaces both the lost natural tooth and its root.
Replacing Several Teeth
If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.
Replacing All Your Teeth
If all your teeth are missing, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.