Missing teeth should be replaced as soon as possible. Your teeth help to support each other and prevent neighboring teeth from shifting position. Teeth are also necessary for the long-term health of your jawbone since they stimulate bone growth. Dentures and bridges are good options for replacing missing teeth, but for the most permanent, stable solution, dental implants are the optimal choice.
Dental implants consist of a titanium root which is fused into your jawbone, an abutment or support post, and a crown that exactly mimics a natural tooth. Though dentures start to feel natural over time, dental implants have the advantage of looking, feeling, and functioning the most like natural teeth. By stimulating bone growth, implants preserve your jawline, while also restoring chewing and speaking ability and giving you a sparkling smile that looks all-natural.
Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth and are one of dentistry’s biggest advances of the last 40 years. The technique involves placing a titanium post into the upper or lower jaw which then becomes an anchor for a replacement tooth or bridge.
First, your health history must be evaluated. If your teeth have been missing for a long time, your jawbone has likely deteriorated and may need a bone graft before it is strong enough to support an implant. If you are suffering from a chronic illness such as diabetes or leukemia, you may have trouble healing after the surgery. We will get a complete picture of your oral health through a dental / radiographic examination performed by Dr. Pham or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
The process takes about four months to complete. A first visit is required to place the post, we then allow about four months for the bone to fuse with the post (a process called “osseointegration”), and finally a custom made crown or bridge is attached to the post.
The size, shape, color and fit of the implants are designed to blend with your existing teeth. Long term studies show that teeth adjacent to implants have the best survival rates compared to other forms of restoration.
Dental implant surgery takes an average of four months, since you must undergo ample healing time between each stage. During the process, temporary dentures will allow you to preserve your normal teeth functions.
For this reason it is considered the best way to replace missing teeth. You must be in good overall health to receive implants. Some chronic illnesses such as diabetes or leukemia may interfere with healing after surgery.
Though dental implant surgery is lengthy and more involved than getting dentures, the end result is a strong, durable tooth that can last you a lifetime. The Center for Beautiful Smiles will be happy to answer any questions about dental implants. Call today for a consultation.
Missing Tooth: Implant (cemented crown)
Missing Tooth: Implant (screw-fixed crown)