Dental Implants – The Solution for Missing Teeth
If you have a missing tooth or teeth, you run the risk of losing bone mass in your jaw. Another problem that can occur is your other teeth can shift, filling in the space left by the missing teeth. If the missing tooth is in the front, it may make you feel uncomfortable when you smile or talk. A full arch of missing teeth makes it difficult to eat properly and maintain good health.
Don’t fret! Modern dentistry has given the dental community the ability to replace missing teeth efficiently and more comfortably with a solution that can last a lifetime. The most natural-looking, -feeling and -fitting solution to missing teeth are dental implant-supported replacement teeth.
A dental implant replaces the root of a missing tooth. It is made of titanium, which is completely biocompatible with human tissue. It is placed into your jaw and over time, the implant fuses with your jawbone, becoming stable and very long-lasting. Dental implants are used to replace everything from a single tooth, to several missing teeth in a row, to a full arch of missing teeth. Click here to read more about dental implants.
Modern dental technology has also give dentists some amazing tools to place implants precisely and efficiently. Cone beam CT scanners take a series of digital X-rays and put them into a single 3D image. This image helps the doctor locate structures that are hidden beneath your gums, such as nerves, sinus cavities and the amount and quality of bone in your jaw. It is a fast and easy procedure that can eliminate the need to cut the gum open.
Treatment planning software aids the doctor in the virtual placement of the implant. The software allows the doctor to rotate the computer image to make sure the implant will fit well in your jaw, before the surgery. Another piece of advanced dentistry is the surgical guide, which is a custom-made device that fits to the contours of your gums and guides the doctor in the correct placement of your implants. It pinpoints the precise angle and depth of each implant.
- Single Missing Tooth – If it’s just one missing tooth that needs to be replaced, a single implant is placed. The implant is given time to heal and fuse with your bone. During that time you may be fitted with a temporary crown. When this process is complete you will get your permanent replacement tooth, which will be checked by the doctor for shape, shade, bite and fit. If everything looks good, the new tooth will be attached and you’re good to go.
- Several Missing Teeth in a Row – It’s basically the same procedure for an implant-supported bridge as for a single implant. The implants are placed. They heal. The permanent bridge is then attached to the implants. The chewing power you’ll have with an implant-supported bridge is close to that of natural teeth. The replacement teeth can’t shift around in your mouth. Read more about implant-supported bridges.
- A Full Arch of Missing Teeth – Dental implants can make a huge difference for someone with a full arch of missing teeth. While traditional dentures will allow you to eat some softer foods, implant-supported dentures can give you back more than 50% of the chewing power you lost. Implant-supported dentures look, act and feel more like your natural teeth. Some are removable by you and some are fixed-in and can only be removed by the dentist. Check out our webpage on different types of implant-supported dentures.
If you have missing teeth and are interested in finding out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, give us a call and take advantage of our Complimentary Implant Consultation. Dr. Hoos will sit down with you and answer all of your questions about implants. We look forward to getting to know you!