Over time, our smiles change and may begin lose their youthful appearance. These changes can include a change in smile esthetics due to loss of teeth. Teeth may be lost as a result of trauma, periodontal disease, fracturing, infection, and tooth decay. In the past, the only options for tooth replacement were a permanent cemented dental bridge or a removable tooth or teeth set into some form of denture. Luckily, that has changed with the widespread use of dental implants. Dental Implants give the dentist and patient a better way to restore that smile and return it to its youthful appearance.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants have been researched and improved upon for quite some time now. Implants have been shown to be safe and successful (over 90%success rate) for the long term replacement of missing teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth.
Dental implants can be used in a variety of situations including replacement of a single tooth, as support for a dental bridge, or as support for a denture (allowing it to be more comfortable and secure). Dental implants are a major part of cosmetic dentistry today. Only you and your dentist will know you have dental implants.
Best Options For Dental Implants
Dental implants, like most of dentistry, is highly personalized. The treatment plan will depend upon how many teeth are missing as well as the available quantity and quality of bone present.
Below you will find some of the situations where dental implants can replace lost teeth:
-Loss Of A Single Tooth
The replacement of a single tooth with an implant can be done quickly and easily if there is adequate bone support. At one time, replacing a tooth meant wearing a removable appliance (commonly called a “flipper”) or removing natural tooth structure from surrounding teeth to create a fixed bridge of dental crowns.
The flipper can be quite uncomfortable to wear and may affect speech and taste. The dental bridge, while a good option, may compromise the support teeth by having them do the work of the lost tooth, and by increasing the possibility of tooth decay over time. The long term success rate is lowered due to difficulties in cleaning under and around the bridge. A single tooth dental implant, when completed properly, will last a lifetime. The dental implant will function and look just like your lost natural tooth.
-Loss Of Multiple Teeth
When missing multiple teeth in a single area, dental implants can be used to form a fixed bridge. The beauty of this arrangement is stability and the ability not to affect the natural teeth in any way.
-Replacing All Teeth
In the past, the only way to restore a full dentition was to fabricate a removable denture that snapped into the implants. With newer techniques, dental implants have the ability to restore natural function and esthetics and stay fixed tightly in the mouth. The new technique used is an all on four dental implants denture. Four dental implants are strategically placed to allow for a more secure, comfortable, immovable denture.
Dental Implants Conclusion
It has long been known that a full complement of teeth conveys beauty and youth. When teeth are missing we smile less and and are less confident in ourselves. Dental implants are a way to restore that youthful smile and confidence.