Whether a person has a single missing tooth or several missing teeth, it can have a major impact on their self-esteem. Most people with missing teeth want to restore their full smile, but they are often unaware of the different tooth-replacement options available to them.
Although bridges and dentures have been common replacements in the past, newer dental implants can give patients a permanent solution that looks, feels and functions just like their natural teeth.
Benefits of dental implants
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, there are several advantages of choosing dental implants over bridges, dentures or other tooth-replacement options. Unlike dentures or bridges, a dental implant fuses to the jawbone, which prevents the bone from deteriorating, and it will feel completely natural to the patient.
As some people with missing teeth can attest, dentures can cause a number of issues. Poorly fitted dentures or a lack of denture adhesive may cause speech difficulties, pain, discomfort and dietary limitations. Those who wear dentures have to be careful about what they eat to prevent them from slipping, and they must remove their dentures in order to properly clean them.
However, if the person chose dental implants instead, they could enjoy an unrestricted diet, improved speech and permanent teeth that they can brush and floss just like their natural teeth. Most importantly, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene, whereas dentures may break or become ill-fitting over time.
The implant procedure
Dental implant surgery is designed to replace a missing tooth without disturbing or damaging the surrounding natural teeth, so patients can expect a minimally invasive procedure. The dentist will numb the mouth with local anesthesia, and then make a small incision in the gums to expose the underlying bone. A small drill is used to create a hole for the implant, which is then secured into place.
The dentist will screw a cover on the top of the implant and close up the gum so it can heal over the next few months. During this time, the implant will secure itself to the bone.
Crown placement procedure
When the patient returns in a few months, the dentist will reopen the gums and place a small extension on the implant. An impression is made, and the mold will be sent to a lab for the crown to be created.
Once the customized crown is completed, the patient can come in for their last appointment to have the crown placed. The dentist will ensure that the crown is a precise fit and then attach it with a strong adhesive. After it is secured, the implant will be indistinguishable from the other teeth.
Are you ready for dental implants?
If you would like to return to a full life with completely natural-looking teeth and give up dentures for good, dental implants could be the solution you need. For further information, contact our office today.
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