A dental implant functions as a new tooth root made out of titanium. It replaces a natural root lost from a missing tooth.
The surgical procedure used to place an implant is actually quite minor and routine, usually requiring only local anesthesia. The implant is then topped with a lifelike crown, which is custom-made to match your existing natural teeth. Implants can also be paired with other tooth replacement options, depending on your needs.
Dental implant procedures have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option.
How do dental implants work?
During the minor surgical procedure, your dental implant is placed under the gum in the space vacated by your missing tooth. It will then be left to heal for a few months, essentially becoming a part of the jaw.
Finally, you’ll come back to the office, and your crown will be attached. However, there are certain situations in which implants can have replacement teeth placed at the same time that the implant placement surgery is performed.
What tooth replacement options are there with dental implants?
Dental implants can replace missing teeth in a variety of ways. The options available include:
Single Tooth Implants
When you have one tooth missing, a single dental implant can replace that tooth’s root; a crown then goes on top to simulate an actual tooth. This treatment choice has the highest success rate, making it the best long-term investment for replacing a single missing tooth.
Even if the initial cost is slightly higher than other options, it is the most cost-effective solution over time. An implant will never decay or need root canal treatment, and it feels just like the tooth that was there previously.
Multiple Teeth Implants
When you have more than one tooth missing, dental implants are an ideal replacement mechanism. You don’t even need one implant for every missing tooth. Instead implants can act as supports for fixed bridgework.
For example, if you are missing three teeth in a row, we can place an implant with a crown on each side of the gap. These implant and crown combinations can support a third crown in between them. Using this option, you won’t need to use any of your remaining natural teeth as bridge supports.
This reduces the wear on your remaining natural teeth while maintaining proper bite function.
Replacing All Teeth
Dental implants can support an entire arch of upper or lower replacement teeth that are permanently attached to the implants.
Sometimes the new teeth can be supported by as few as four implants, comparable to the structure of a table, which only needs four legs to hold it up.
In cases when jawbone density and volume have deteriorated, five or six implants might be needed to support a row of 10 to 12 teeth. Replacement teeth that are supported by dental implants protect your jawbone, don’t slip, and should last a lifetime.
If your jawbone density has suffered due to your missing teeth, we may be able to perform a bone graft to ensure the success of the dental implant procedure. This is an option that we evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
Supporting Removable Dentures
Dental implants can also make removable dentures more comfortable, effective, and healthier to wear. Traditional dentures rest on the gums and put pressure on the underlying bone. This accelerates bone loss, which causes the jaw to shrink and the dentures to slip.
Today, though, we can attach a removable denture to implants, transferring that pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface. This prevents the dentures from slipping while you eat and speak, and it preserves the bone directly beneath them.
Want Dental Implants? Call Us today.
If you’re ready to discuss dental implants because of broken or missing teeth, please call Tabor Dental Associates today. Our dentists are able to perform all steps of the dental implant process right here in the office.
Take advantage of our experience and state-of-the-art dental technology. Call for an appointment now.