A lot of people have heard about implants but aren’t sure what is involved. For many patients, dental implants are a great alternative to bridges or dentures. Dental implants replace missing teeth!
If you’ve suddenly lost a tooth from an accident or if your dentist needs to extract one or more teeth, you may be a candidate for implants. Compared to the alternatives, dental implants are a more permanent treatment when teeth need to replaced. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.
Unlike removable dentures, an implant supported tooth does not need to be removed at night and daily functions like chewing and speaking become much easier since implants are fixed in your mouth.
Dental implants also look like real teeth. We can make them resemble the tooth you lost – we can even design your replacement tooth to match the color of your existing teeth.
Implants work by implanting a metal rod (the implant) into the bone under the gum tissue and placing a crown over it. Most patients feel very little discomfort during the procedure and it has greater than 90% success rate for patients that are candidates for the procedure.
One key advantage is that dental implants help preserve the bone. When a natural tooth is lost, the area of the jaw where the tooth used to be begins to shrink in. This is because no root remains in the bone. When this occurs it can adversely affect the appearance of your smile. Dental implants preserve the bone by mimicking the natural root, preventing this bone loss.
Let’s say you have a friend that plays hockey and he’s had a tooth knocked out during a game.
Your friend may decide to get a bridge to replace the missing tooth. A bridge is a one piece unit that is made up of one pontic crown to replace a missing tooth and two retainer crowns on either side that are connected.
Fitting a bridge involves the use of retainer teeth on either side of the missing tooth in order to hold the unit in the mouth. The retainer teeth have crowns placed over them and in order to do this, we have to shave down two potentially good teeth to be much smaller in size for the crown placement.
Another disadvantage to a bridge can be noticeable gum shrinkage and bone loss. Since there is nothing placed in the bone where the missing tooth was located, the bone around the missing tooth begins to dissolve. Over time, the gum where the missing tooth is shrinks inward.
With dental implants, the teeth on either side of a missing tooth can remain untouched. A metal rod is implanted into the bone and a crown is fitted on top of the rod and just like that, a missing tooth is replaced. In rare cases the implant or its associated crown may need to be replaced, but the teeth, gums and bone surrounding the implant are still going strong.
Implants help preserve the bone and gums and prevent your gums from shrinking, keeping them healthy and looking great.
The cost of dental implants can be slightly more expensive initially (as opposed to a bridge) but can save the patient money in the long run as the longevity of implants is so great (unless you continue playing hockey)!
Dental implants look so good no one will be able to tell you’ve lost a tooth at all. We’re able to make your replacement tooth look similar to the one you lost and we even work to have it match the color of your existing teeth, so it won’t look out of place.
It will take several months to heal before the final crown is placed over the implant rod. The results look great and can last for years, even decades, with proper care. You can brush and floss around implants just like your regular teeth.
At Dr. Brian Hadeed’s office we know that implants are a significant financial commitment and aren’t usually fully covered by dental insurance. We provide dental financing through Care Credit.
If you’ve suddenly lost a tooth or if you need to have teeth extracted due to gum disease or tooth decay, don’t delay seeing a dentist to see if you can get dental implants. Waiting too long can reduce the chances you’ll be able to get implants. Call us today for a consultation!