Have lost all or some of your natural teeth? Bridges, dentures and flexible dentures are not the only solution, thanks to advances in modern dentistry.
Dental implants are small metal screws that are placed in the jaw so that crowns, bridges and dentures can be fixed onto them.
Implant dentistry offers a clinically proven and safe solution to getting back a great smile and being able to bite and chew with confidence. When you lose your natural teeth, your jaw bone and surround tissues start to resorb or disappear over time. When implants are placed in the jaw, it stimulates the remaining bone to grow and mesh around the metal, along with tiny blood vessels.
More importantly, implants help restore function so you can eat, chew and bite without your dentures falling out or having to stick to a soft food diet for the rest of your life.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is essentially a sophisticated titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw, allowed to bond with the bone and serves as an anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth. Implant supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. They preserve the integrity of the facial structure and reduce the inconveniences associated with tooth loss.
Who is a suitable candidate for dental implants?
Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, gum disease, or decay may be a candidate for dental implants.
Single Tooth Replacement
Multiple Teeth Replacement
Implant Supported Dentures
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. Your surgeon will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history.
How will I benefit from the dental implants?
Dental implants can eliminate the embarrassing inconveniences of removal partial and full dentures. There is no need for gooey denture adhesives that must be applied throughout the day. You will no longer need to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile or fear that the dentures may fall out.
Lifelong Tooth Replacement
Naturally, every treatment case presents unique conditions that can affect the longevity of a dental implant and no man-made product lasts forever. However, most patients who are treated with dental implants should be able to expect lifelong replacement for their lost teeth.
The average denture patient with an excellent fitting denture eats at 15-20% efficiency when compared to a person with natural teeth. As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduced even more, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants, on the other hand, can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth. This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
With ill-fitting dentures, the teeth slip and slide around the mouth. The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the denture in place. This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises. The implant supported replacement teeth allow you to speak with confidence in a relaxed and natural tone.
Although dental implant treatment may initially be more expensive than other treatment methods it often turns out to be the best investment from a long term perspective since most patients can expect them to last a life time. Other treatment methods like bridges and dentures often requires regular alterations and replacements over time.
When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone begins to resorb, making the face look older. Dental implants can stop this process.
Dental implants will improve your self-esteem and you will feel better about yourself. Many of the patients already treated with dental implants have experienced this. You can regain nearly all your capabilities you had with natural teeth, giving you renewed confidence.
How long do implants last?
Implants are not susceptible to cavities, but they can develop gum disease if not cared for properly. Just like natural teeth, the implant needs to be kept clean and checked by your dentist at regular intervals. If cared for properly, most implants (the titanium screw portion) will provide a lifetime of service, although the crown or appliance attached to the implant may need to be replaced from wear and tear.
As a cost comparison, if you have a missing tooth and decide to have it replaced with a bridge, you can assume that the bridge will need to be replaced every 15 years (which is a conservative estimate). Compared to the cost of placing an implant, replacing the bridge several times over the course of a lifetime could cost four or five times as much as having the implant done. This does not even take into consideration the fact that the teeth used to support a bridge will very likely develop problems of their own over time.