Tooth loss is a problem that will affect most Americans at some point during their lifetime. Shocking research shows that by 50 years of age, the average U.S. citizen will have lost around 12 of their teeth. There can be a range of reasons why someone might lose their teeth, ranging from extensive decay or periodontal disease to trauma to the mouth. Whatever the cause of tooth loss, the impact it can have on a person can be immense. Not only do you have to contend with the physical impact of tooth loss – difficulty biting and chewing, and pronouncing certain letters, but you must also live with the psychological effect of gaps in your smile. If you are only missing one tooth at the back of your mouth, these effects might be minor. However, if your missing teeth are very noticeable, you may feel embarrassed or ashamed of your smile, and as such, avoid social or professional occasions where you feel you might draw attention to your mouth.
In the past, dental bridges have been the go-to solution for single or several missing teeth, while dentures have been used to replace entire arches of a smile. However, today there is an alternative that most experts and patients agree is far superior – dental implants.
Dental implants are a revolutionary and unique design that enable patients to replace either single, multiple or complete arches of teeth. Each single implant has two main components that are held together using a special connector. These are:
A porcelain crown that is custom-designed to fit the size, shape and color of your existing teeth so that it looks completely natural.
A titanium implant post. This is inserted through the gums and into the jaw bone. The bone then grows around it, securing it permanently in place.
In single implants, a single titanium post is placed below the prosthetic tooth. However, if you require a full arch of implants, or an implant-supported bridge, these can usually be placed on far less posts. Our dental implant surgeon will discuss this with you at your consultation.
While implants are extremely successful for the majority of patients, it is necessary for the patient to have sufficient healthy bone in their jaw, and healthy gums, otherwise the implant post may not fuse properly and come loose. This could cause the implant to fail.
Dental implants have been designed in such a way that they eliminate many of the problems associated with both dental bridges and dentures.
One of the most popular benefits of dental implants is the strength and durability they offer the wearer. Titanium is one of the strongest materials used in dentistry, and once fused with your jaw bone, provides a completely secure and virtually unbreakable foundation for the prosthetic tooth.
Since they are so secure, implants do not slip or move around inside your mouth – a common problem with dentures. This helps you to avoid any embarrassing slips, such as when coughing, laughing or sneezing. Dental implants are also custom designed to fit with your existing teeth and made to your desired shade. This helps them to blend in with the rest of your smile and look completely natural. No-one need ever know that they aren't your real teeth!
The permanence of dental implants is another huge benefit, as it makes them one of the most convenient tooth replacement solutions available. There is no need to avoid eating hard or chewy foods for fear of pulling your implant out. Instead you can eat, drink, laugh, sneeze and even kiss without compromise.
Dentures and bridgework both have a reputation for being a little uncomfortable, with dentures in particular known for rubbing against the soft tissue of the mouth and making it sore. Fortunately, dental implants are so comfortable to wear that most patients quickly forget that they are even there.
Unlike dental bridges which have a habit of requiring maintenance, or dentures which can break easily if dropped, dental implants are extremely easy to look after. Unless you think that there may be a problem, our dentist will just give your implants a quick check at your regularly scheduled appointments.
Dental implants can be brushed and flossed just like a regular tooth which will help to keep them looking as good as new. Even better, because the tooth part of the implant is prosthetic, you won't ever have to worry about a cavity developing! Just make sure that you pay extra close attention to your gum health as, while it is important to avoid periodontal disease at all times, developing the condition could put your implants at risk.
At approximately 98%, dental implants hold the record for the highest success rate of any surgically implanted device in the world today.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implants, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss booking in for a procedure, our staff would be delighted to assist you. Please contact us and take the first step towards achieving your smile transformation.