Teeth Replacement Options: Are dental implants right for me?
Dental implants are the most highly recommended of the many teeth replacement options available. Dental implants are unique because they work to counteract the consequences of tooth loss and permanently restore your oral function. Missing and damaged teeth negatively change your appearance and cause long-term repercussions to your health, oral functions, and facial structure.
Learn about the best teeth replacement options available for patients missing one, multiple, or all teeth. Find out what makes dental implants unique among treatments for missing teeth and if you are a good candidate. And see why time is of the essence when it comes to retaining your healthy teeth and restoring damaged or missing teeth.
Are Dental Implants the Best Teeth Replacement Option for Missing Teeth?
If you have one or more missing teeth, several teeth replacement options are available, and dental implants are the most highly recommended by oral surgeons. To understand why dental implants are unique, you must understand your teeth’s role in your long-term health and happiness.
What happens if you lose a tooth or have missing teeth?
Your teeth play a vital role in supporting your facial structure through the jawbone. The roots of teeth anchor the visible part of a tooth to the jawbone. Your bite pressure from chewing and speaking stimulates healthy jawbone growth. When you lose a tooth, the roots die, and the jawbone begins to shrink in a process called resorption.
Effects of Missing Teeth
Like a house of cards, one missing tooth can cause a cascade of damage beyond your oral cavity. Removing one tooth causes the adjacent teeth to become loose, which will lead to further tooth decay, infection, and misalignment of the jaw. A missing tooth also leaves a gap in your teeth which causes instability to your healthy teeth.
Effects on the Jawbone
You may not think about it, but your jaw is the essential foundation that supports the structure of the bones in your face, which is responsible for your visual appearance. In the first year of tooth loss, the jawbone decreases in volume and mass by up to 25%. As resorption occurs and your jawbone shrinks, your facial features will begin to distort, misalign, and show premature signs of aging.
Dental Implants – Best Teeth Replacement Option
Dental implants retain your oral health, facial structure, and natural functions because they work just like your teeth. A dental implant is a small titanium screw that fuses with your jawbone and works as a replacement for the roots of a missing tooth. The result is a permanent tooth replacement that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth.
Dental implants have three elements: an implant screw, abutment, and dental crown. Your dentist or oral surgeon begins by extracting the damaged tooth and preparing and cleaning the location to receive the implant screw. The titanium implant is biocompatible and bonds with the bone tissue in your jaw over the course of two to eight months.
The abutment post slides into the hollow center of the implant screw and is secured in place with a strong dental cement. Finally, a custom dental crown attaches to the abutment to complete the restoration. The dental crown is fabricated using molds of your teeth to create a comfortable and optically indistinguishable match with your natural teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Implant tooth replacements actively stimulate healthy jawbone growth, just like the roots of your natural teeth. Implants are the only choice for replacing teeth that avoids the inevitable consequences that accompany jawbone resorption. Some of the most significant benefits of dental implants include:
- 94% success rate after ten years
- Permanent foundation to support a dental restoration
- Durable and comfortable
- Natural aesthetic and function
- Low-maintenance and intuitive cleaning
- Preventative against jawbone loss or resorption
- Best long-term, cost-effective replacement for teeth
- Some patients can get a same-day dental implant placement
Are you a good candidate for dental implants?
Most patients are good candidates for dental implants and may qualify for immediate implant placement or same-day dental implants. If jawbone resorption has not occurred in the placement location, your surgeon may place your implants during the same procedure as the extraction. Once jawbone loss occurs, jawbone grafting may be necessary before your implant placement procedure.
Dr. James Michael Buchanan, Jr. will guide you through every step of the process, starting with an initial consultation. Every patient’s case is unique, and so is the treatment plan for restoring your missing teeth. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation and learn which teeth replacement options are the best choice for you.