Many Americans together have lost millions of teeth over their lifetimes due to tooth decay or bone loss. Until the last few years, it has been difficult to replace teeth with artificial ones that were able to duplicate the performance and esthetics of natural, healthy teeth. Today, dental implants are coming closer than ever to providing artificial teeth that look natural and perform well. Implants may be used in many restorative situations, including replacing single teeth, and anchoring “floating” full dentures or partial dentures. The process of implant placement is virtually painless, and even though the cost may run above what a traditional replacement option does, the investment is worth a lifetime of good dental health.
Several million full and partial dentures are currently in use in this country. Although these appliances function well and are usually much better than no replacement at all, 2 or more implants fused to the jawbone can be used as anchors to “snap” these appliances into place. Compared to floating appliances, implant supported partials and dentures feel more secure, enable better chewing, and give you more confidence when talking and laughing. Spaces where single teeth are missing can be replaced predictably as well. A single implant fixture usually supports a “replacement” tooth without involving the teeth on either side of the space. This naturally leads to more conservative dentistry.
To place an implant, the surgeon or dentist places the implant fixture(s) into the jawbone. This process is painless due to the fact that bone in the mouth has very little nerves. Once the implant has integrated with the bone, usually within 3-4 months, the crown or denture assembly is placed on the fixture(s). During the time of bone integration, a temporary is usually placed.
Implants can be an economical alternative to replace teeth with a natural, comfortable appliance. Increased confidence, better chewing ability, and increased dental and overall health are benefits of implants. Call us for more information!