Dental technology now offers alternatives to traditional methods of tooth replacement. Dentures and fixed bridges are associated with increased complications over time. Removable dentures cause bone loss, which impacts facial structure and can loosen or alter denture fit. Improperly fitting dentures can make embarrassing clicking sounds when eating or talking. Fixed bridges are placed by grinding down remaining adjacent teeth, making these healthy teeth more susceptible to damage. Research indicates that dental implants yield better long-term results for tooth replacement. In fact, patients who received implants in the ’80s and ’90s continue to report optimum functionality of their implants!
Titanium implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone, where the implant fuses with the existing natural bone in a process called osseointegration. Properly integrated implants do not slip or make embarrassing noises and are more difficult to distinguish from your natural teeth. Because they mirror tooth and root structure, implants provide stimulation for the jawbone, preventing bone loss, while their titanium composition makes them resistant to decay. These factors contribute to the long-term success of dental implants and subsequent overall oral health. Dental implants provide a permanent, reliable tooth replacement alternative that functions just like real teeth.
Regular dentures rest on top of your gums, causing bone deterioration and leaving space that can cause complications such as loose fit, slipping, or clicking sounds. Implant supported dentures are anchored in the mouth through attachment to dental implants. This type of denture is most often used in the lower jaw where removable dentures are less stable, but can also be used in the upper jaw. Implant supported dentures are snapped into place on top of dental implants. This combination of implants and dentures provides a secure fit and hold, eliminating looseness or slipping without the need for paste or adhesives. Implant supported dentures are designed so that they can be removed for regular cleaning, or you can opt for fixed implant supported dentures, which function as permanent teeth.
Bone loss in the jaw bone is common when one or more teeth have been lost due to injury, decay, or trauma. In cases such as these, Dr. Adams may recommend having a bone grafting procedure in order to rebuild sufficient bone to support dental implants. You may also need to have some tooth extractions before dental implant placement; he can generally do these during the same appointment. Our office offers oral sedation dentistry, allowing us to relieve your anxiety about all of these procedures without the use of needles or intravenous tubes.
Dental implants are now the generally preferred tooth replacement treatment over partial dentures and fixed bridges. Traditional treatments either rest on your gums, as with removable dentures, or rely upon adjacent teeth to serve as anchors for fixed bridges. Dental implants are placed into the jaw bone, offering a highly successful, long-term replacement option.
Tooth Loss and Implants
Did you know an estimated 69% of adults ages 35-44 have lost a minimum of one tooth to either injury, decay, or gum disease? Moreover, by age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.
Dental technology now offers alternatives to the traditional methods of tooth replacement: dentures and fixed bridges, which are associated with increased complications over time. Removable dentures cause bone loss which impacts facial structure and can loosen or alter denture fit. Improperly fitting dentures can make embarrassing clicking sounds when eating or talking. Fixed bridges are placed by grinding down remaining adjacent teeth, also known as abutments, making these healthy teeth more susceptible to damage. Despite long-term complications, these treatments are still safe and viable.
Research indicates that dental implants yield better long-term results for tooth replacement. Titanium implants are surgically placed into the jaw bone, where the implant fuses with the existing natural bone in a process called osseointegration. Properly integrated implants do not slip or make embarrassing noises and are more difficult to distinguish from your natural teeth. Because they mirror tooth and root structure, implants provide stimulation for the jawbone, preventing bone loss, while their titanium composition makes them resistant to decay. These factors contribute to the long-term success of dental implants and subsequent overall oral health.
Dental implant technology has been around for over 20 years. Not only does the technology continue to develop and improve, but it has also stood the test of time! Patients who received implants in the ’80s and ’90s continue to report optimum functionality of their implants. With proper care and hygiene, dental implants are truly a life-long solution for missing teeth.
Dental Implants for Single Missing Teeth
Modern dentistry now views dental implants as the standard of care for replacing multiple teeth, particularly when they are in a row. Implants play a crucial role in preventing bone loss and preserving facial structure. Former treatments, such as dentures, not only failed to address these concerns, but in fact led to complications.
Dental Implants vs. Traditional Dental Bridge
Restoring Your Smile
Many factors contribute to the placement of implants in multiple teeth replacements. The first approach your doctor will consider is to place an implant at the site of each lost tooth. Such implants would be permanent replacements and act as your natural teeth. Not all patients qualify for implants at all sites of tooth loss. If too much bone loss has occurred, bone grafting may be necessary to create sufficient bone mass to hold the dental implant.
When fitting bar-retained dentures, three or more dental implants are placed into the jaw bone. Metal bars then run along the gum line between each of the implants. The denture rests on the bars, attaching with metal clips. This structure secures the denture’s placement without the need for the steel studs used in ball-retained dentures. Many patients have opted for this alternative as it eliminates the rubbing, loosening, and discomfort associated with traditional removable dentures.
Ball-retained dentures, also called stud-attached dentures, function with a ball and socket mechanism. The denture base has several sockets that line up with balls placed on dental implants in the jaw bone. The balls and sockets fit together for an extremely secure fit, allowing for an open palate denture. Ball and socket attachment is even less likely to slip or move, restoring the patient’s ability to eat and speak regularly.
Patients who have any of the following conditions will need to discuss their options with the dentist:
Existing Dental Work. Implants can either reinforce or replace existing dental work such as bridges or dentures.
Bone Loss. As long as there is enough bone tissue in the area, dental implants may still be successful. If there is not enough bone, bone-grafting procedures may be required before an implant can be placed.
Existing Medical Conditions. Discuss any medications or existing medical conditions with your doctor. Generally, if you can have typical dental work done, then you can undergo the dental implant procedure.
Gum Disease. Gum disease can affect the success of a dental implant. Patients with moderate to severe gum disease may require treatment prior to implant placement.
Smoking Habit. Discuss how often you smoke with your doctor. Smoking can affect the success of the implant as well as your overall dental health.
Schedule an appointment today for a consultation to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants!
Should I consider dental implants?
Missing teeth not only affects your oral health, but your quality of life as well. Without tooth replacement, your smile is less attractive and you may experience pain or difficulty eating and speaking, which can be embarrassing. Dental implants can alleviate these concerns by acting as natural teeth.
Dental implants are a safe, predictable solution for replacing missing teeth. Implants look and feel like your natural teeth. Patients with implants experience improved taste and appetite as they are able to chew without pain or discomfort. Dental implants also improve your aesthetic appearance by rebuilding your smile and preserving your facial structure. Your overall quality of life can improve with dental implants.
There are no limitations as to who is eligible for implants. They are a suitable solution for all ages, provided there is enough bone in which to set the implants.
Implants successfully integrate with the jaw bone in 97% of cases. When integration is not successful, your doctor will attempt to place the implant in a slightly different location within the jaw in hopes of promoting better integration.
No. A local anesthetic is administered before and during surgery to ensure the patient does not feel pain or discomfort throughout the procedure. Usually your doctor will prescribe post-operative pain medication to minimize any discomfort that may initially occur after the surgery.
Patients can often return to work the next day. Your doctor will discuss your post-operative care plan with you prior to the procedure.
Dental implants may be covered under certain policies. Coverage is generally limited to what is covered for bridges or dentures.
Dental implants require the same care as your natural teeth: daily brushing and flossing as well as regular, bi-annual dental check-ups.
If you do not opt for dental implants, you will experience steady, gradual bone loss, causing additional problems with your remaining healthy teeth. This bone loss can eventually impact your denture fit and affect your facial appearance and diet. It is important to replace missing teeth before these side effects occur. The risks incurred by waiting to replace teeth may make you ineligible for dental implants and require bone grafting.
The “freehand” surgical method has been used in dental implant placement for years. But we’ve found a better way to complete placement that ensures a more accurate and comfortable fit. X-Guide™ software provides us with a roadmap for implant placement success. Using cone beam CT technology, we can map out a virtual 3D model of your mouth prior to your dental implant surgery. During the placement procedure, X-Guide shows us precisely where your implants should go, enabling us to deliver predictable functional and aesthetic results for you more quickly, and with less pain.