If you’ve had dental problems that have led to tooth loss, restoring your smile is a priority. After all, it is one of the first things people notice about you, so missing teeth can really do a number on your image – not to mention your self-image and confidence. If you’re exploring your options for replacing missing teeth, chances are your dental professional has mentioned dental implants as the best possible option for your dental restoration. Here are 3 ways dental implants can help restore your smile:
1. Restoring A Single or Several Small Gaps In Your Smile
Dental implants have been used to fill these sort of gaps in the smile for decades. Single tooth replacement begins with the placement of a single titanium implant into the jawbone, where it will bond with the bone tissue to create an artificial tooth root. This step not only provides a firm foundation for your replacement tooth, but also, unlike any other restorative option, protects against bone loss in the jaw that occurs where tooth roots are missing.Then, the implant will be topped with and abutment, upon which a natural-looking crown will be mounted to replace your missing tooth.
This process results in a replacement tooth that looks, feels and functions like its neighboring natural teeth, and is cared for in the same way – routine brushing, flossing and professional cleanings. Unlike fixed dental bridges – the go-to solution for single tooth replacement before the advent of dental implants – implant-based restorations won’t have to be replaced every few years. They typically last for decades, and with careful oral hygiene, may last a lifetime.
2. Implant-Based Restorations For Larger Gaps
If you’ve lost several teeth, leaving a sizable gap in your smile, your dental care team may suggest an implant-supported bridge as the most practical and cost-effective solution. Rather than replacing each missing tooth with its own separate dental implant and crown, your oral surgeon can use just one implant to support a bridge that permanently replaces two teeth, for example, or perhaps two implants to support a bridge that covers a three-tooth gap. As with single tooth replacement, and implant-supported bridge will preserve bone strength and density, provide a more permanent solution to tooth loss than traditional bridges, and offer a smile restoration that is indistinguishable from adjacent natural teeth in function, comfort and appearance.
3. Restoring Your Smile After Total Tooth Loss
Have you lost all your teeth in one jaw or both? Here too, your best options for replacing those missing teeth lie in dental implant based restorations. Patients who need total tooth replacement can have several dental implants placed in the jawbone – anywhere from 4 to 8, depending upon the technique used – to firmly anchor a full arch of replacement teeth.
This sort of restoration is often referred to as permanent dentures, since they are not removed at night or for cleaning like traditional dentures. Rather, they are permanently fixed in place – removable only by a dentist – and are cared for like natural teeth – brushed, flossed and given regular dental cleanings.
Like other implant-based restorations, permanent dentures look, feel and function like natural teeth, aid in maintaining jawbone strength and density, and, unlike traditional dentures, will not lose their fit and need replacement every few years. Additionally, with today’s more advanced materials and procedures, oral surgeons can provide many patients with permanent dentures in a single day, with no waiting period between implant placement and delivery of replacement teeth.
Call us for more information about tooth replacement and dental implants.