Do you have a missing tooth or teeth?
Of all the ways modern dentistry has created to replace missing teeth, dental implants are by far the best. There is no other tooth-replacement option that will give you a longer-lasting result. Dental implants also help preserve the bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost. This bone loss is one of the major hidden consequences of losing teeth. See what the ADA has to say about dental implants by clicking here.
An implant is a small, screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It’s about the size of a 3.5mm headphone jack. The procedure used to place a dental implant is actually quite minor and routine. During this procedure, your dental implant is inserted directly into the bone of the space made by a missing tooth. A healing period then allows your bone to grow around and fuse to the dental implant. After healing, a custom tooth is made to match the look and feel of your other teeth. Dental implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option! Smoking and diabetes does decrease the success of dental implants.
Many people cringe at the thought of implants because of the financials. However, after the cost of a root canal, perhaps a build-up and post, and the crown on top of that, implant costs are not too different. Add in that implants last much longer and have a much lower failure rate, you may actually be saving money by choosing your implant now!
What makes us different
The process of placing an implant on a tooth is pretty much standard, but that is only half of the challenge. The other half depends on how your own body heals and integrates the dental implant. While other offices may depend on synthetic or animal derived materials, at Genuine Dental Arts, we integrate Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) technology to kick healing into overdrive by using your body’s own stem cells and growth factors. This not only makes the dental implant heal faster, but better! With the integration of this technology, pain and complications after surgery is greatly reduced.
Tooth/Teeth Replacement Options Using Dental Implants
When you have one tooth missing, only a single dental implant is needed to replace that tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth. The initial cost is slightly higher than other options, but it is the best solution over time because a dental implant will never get cavities or root canals, and feels like a natural tooth. It can be flossed and used in the same way your natural tooth was used.
When you have more than one tooth missing, dental implants provide an ideal replacement mechanism. You don’t need one dental implant for every missing tooth. Instead, implants can act as supports for dental bridges. For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place two dental implants, one on either side of the gap, and a tooth in between that has no implant underneath. That way, you won’t need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports, which could weaken them and make them more susceptible to cavities or bone loss.
Dental implants can support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are fixed into the mouth and are never removed. Sometimes the new teeth can be supported by as few as 4 implants. It’s comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs 4 legs to hold it up. In cases where jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, 5 or 6 implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. This option lets you use your teeth to eat like you used to without any pain.
Dental implants can even make dentures more comfortable, effective and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss so that the jaw shrinks and the dentures loosen, particularly on the bottom jaw. But today dentists can attach a denture to dental implants, transferring that pressure into your bone rather than the gums. This prevents the dentures from loosening while you eat and speak, and preserves the bone directly beneath them.
Implant Care and Maintenance
There are only two ways an implant can lose attachment to the bone and fail once it has successfully fused: poor oral hygiene or excessive biting forces. Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings (every 4 months) can lead to a destructive bacterial infection called peri-implantitis. Flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis, along with regular dental cleanings, can prevent this. Excessive biting forces can come from either a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, or an insufficient number of implants to handle the forces generated by your bite. You should receive the correct number of implants so this does not happen. And if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, a nightguard will be recommended to protect your implants. Excessive biting forces also arise due to the fact that implants are anchored to the bone, while natural teeth are dynamically moving. Because this movement, the bite of an implant always has to be monitored and adjusted every time you come in for a cleaning (every 4 months).