A dental implant is a high-tech replacement tooth that mimics the whole tooth structure. A titanium “root” is snugly inserted into the bone and is used to support a crown, bridge, or denture. It looks, feels, and acts like a real tooth and can last a lifetime if properly cared for.
Dr. William Roe has placed hundreds of implants and will happily spend the time to explain the details of the procedure and answer your questions. We routinely use dental implants to replace single and multiple missing teeth.
Dental implant technology has become the state-of-the-art tooth replacement solution because of its advantages over earlier treatments. And, with modern innovations in dentistry, most patients can benefit from them – even those who were formerly told they could not.
Who are candidates for Dental Implants?
If you have one or more missing teeth or have broken or decayed teeth that might be beyond repair, implants are usually the answer. If you’re uncomfortable with your dentures, partial denture, or bridge, you could benefit from implant technology.
In the past, patients with insufficient bone or who had certain health conditions or habits were not considered candidates for implants. Advances in diagnostics and bone reconstruction have made it so that most patients can receive implants.
Benefits and advantages of Dental Implants
Dental Implants behave like natural teeth
One of the biggest advantages of an implant is that it restores full chewing power. Most patients can’t tell the difference between their natural teeth and the implant tooth. They can eat with it completely normal, and they can brush and floss normally as well.
Dental Implants can last a lifetime
Whereas a dental bridge may only last around 10 years or so, dental implants can last a lifetime. The implant is made from titanium and integrates with the jawbone. It’s bio-compatible, meaning that it’s non-toxic and not rejected by the body. All in all, it makes a powerful replacement tooth.
Dental Implants prevent bone loss
Where there is no tooth, the jaw bone in the empty space deteriorates due to lack of stimulation. If no implant is placed in the first year of losing a tooth, that bone area loses 25% of its volume, and bone loss continues over the years.
Dentures can even accelerate bone loss as they often become loose, and then rub against the bony ridge, gradually wearing it away. Because an implant replaces the root as well as the tooth, and chewing is restored to normal, it provides the needed stimulation for natural bone growth.
Dental Implants keep adjacent teeth stable
The gap from a missing tooth can cause adjacent teeth to crookedly shift towards the gap. This pulls your teeth out of position and can affect your bite, your ability to chew, and your appearance. It can cause interference that makes tooth replacement difficult later. A poor bite can also lead to issues with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and may result in pain and headaches.
Dental Implants can help keep you free of gum disease
A missing tooth gap can act as a trap for food and bacteria and can lead to gum disease.
Dental Implants can prevent facial sagging and premature aging
Facial sagging can be an unwanted effect of bone loss resulting from missing teeth. This is where the lower third of the face starts to collapse, gradually closing the distance between the tip of the nose and the chin. Changes can include excess wrinkles around the mouth, thinning lips, and a more pointed chin, making the person look a lot older than his or her true age.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Stable teeth with good chewing power!
Dental implants provide a far superior experience compared to dentures. Even dentures that originally fit the patient well begin to slip and become uncomfortable after a while, due to increased bone loss.
It’s difficult to keep any denture continually stable due to wear on the bony ridges that dentures clasp onto. The most frustrating aspect of dentures, and the unhealthiest, is their poor chewing ability. many have to limit their diets because they are unable to chew certain foods with their dentures.
If you are deciding between traditional dentures or implant-supported restoration, here are some things to consider.
- Dentures often have to be kept in the mouth by using a dental adhesive. This sometimes requires re-glues after meals. An implant-supported denture requires no adhesive.
- Dentures have to be removed for cleaning. With the exception of a removable implant-retained denture, your implant-supported restoration can be cared for by brushing and flossing.
- Dentures cover the roof of the mouth. With implants, there’s nothing covering the roof of your mouth to interfere with your sense of taste or other normal activities. Implant-supported dentures can also be fabricated without a palate.
- Dentures can slip out while eating or speaking. Implants and implant-supported dentures are securely anchored and won’t slip out.
- It’s hard to chew with dentures and you can’t eat a lot of food you like or need. Dentures can move while you chew, which is annoying, and also makes it difficult to chew! In fact, dentures generally have only 10% or less of full chewing power. Dental implants have full chewing power and implant-supported bridges or dentures also considerably increase the chewing power.
- Dentures may click while eating. With implants or implant-supported dentures, there’s no annoying clicking sound.
- Dentures don’t provide the stimulation needed to prevent bone loss. The jawbone needs to have the stimulation of high-pressure chewing to keep its volume. Implants ensure no jaw bone is lost.
- Progressive bone loss as a result of wearing dentures can cause facial collapse. Over the years bone loss can cause the collapse of the lower third of your face, creating excessive wrinkles, sagging skin and jowls, thinning lips, and a sunken-in look. This can considerably age a person’s appearance. Implants prevent bone loss.