Over the course of my career, I have seen the technology and science for dental implants make amazing advancements. What I was taught in the 1990’s couldn’t be done with dental implants, is now done every day as a practical and realistic solution for tooth replacement.
What are dental implants? Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that give you the opportunity to replace lost or missing teeth and restore your smile with a natural look, fit, and feel. The artificial roots, or dental implants, are inserted into the spaces where you are missing teeth. After a period of time, usually a few months, the gums and underlying jaw bone hold the implant tightly, and we can then make implant crowns, implant bridges, or specialized implant dentures that firmly attach to the implant roots.
Dental Implants vs Traditional Dentures
If you are missing multiple teeth or your natural teeth are deteriorating beyond what can practically be restored, dental implants provide significant benefits over traditional dentures and partial dentures. With dental implants, you won’t have to wear a bulky, plastic denture. With dental implants, you won’t have to depend upon denture adhesives to keep your teeth from coming loose. With dental implants, you’ll be able to chew up to 10x better than you could with a denture, and you’ll be able to feel the warmth and enjoy the taste of your food like you can with natural teeth. With dental implants, your face will look your natural age and your jaw structure will stay strong and healthy as implants prevent premature aging and jaw bone shrinkage that results from traditional denture use.
Dental Implants vs Traditional Bridges
If you are missing a single tooth, a bridge can be made to replace that tooth by rebuilding the natural teeth that sit on each side of the space of the missing tooth. There are times when rebuilding those natural teeth will serve you well, but many times it’s best to preserve your natural teeth untouched. The major advantage that dental implants have over traditional bridges is that dental implants stand alone without relying on the adjacent teeth. Dental implants can be inserted into the space of the missing tooth, allowing your natural teeth to remain untouched. Many people find the advantage of preserving their natural teeth reduces their future dental expenses as the maintenance for dental implants is much lower than the maintenance that commonly occurs with traditional bridges.
All-On-Four Implant Solutions
A question we are commonly asked is, “Do I have to get implants for every tooth that I am missing?” With the advances in 3D x-ray imaging and dental implant design, we are routinely able to restore your smile by using only 4 implants to support the replacement of the full upper set of teeth and 4 implants for the lower set of teeth. This technique is commonly called the “All-On-Four” technique and is the preferred solution when replacing all of the teeth is recommended. When this technique is used, you can often get your implant teeth the same day as the natural teeth are removed! Our patients often tell us that choosing the All-On-Four treatment is the best decision they ever made at the dentist, and they smile like they have never smiled before.
Dental implants typically have three parts:
1. The implant: A medical-grade titanium screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. This is what is inserted into the spaces of missing teeth and permanently attaches to the jaw bone underlying the gums.
2. The abutment: A connector that permanently attaches the implant to your new implant crown, implant bridge, or specialized implant denture.
3. The implant crown, implant bridge, or implant denture: These permanently attach to the underlying abutments and complete your smile!
If you have concerns about the condition of your teeth, dental implants could be the right choice for you. If you would like to better understand how dental implants are the definitive solution to replace your missing teeth, please schedule an appointment below. You will be amazed what the treatment, the technology, and TFD’s expert care can do for you.