Our teeth were designed to last us for our entire lifespan. But sometimes, for whatever reason, we might find ourselves facing the loss of a tooth. In fact, according to statistics by the American College of Prosthodontists, a whopping 178 million people have at least one missing tooth; others have lost a mouthful of teeth.
The good news is that regardless of how many teeth you are missing, you have choices for how to best fill in that space to give you back your chewing function as well as protect the health of your remaining teeth. But dentists agree that in most cases, the best option is a dental implant.
If you are one of the millions of people going through life with missing teeth, call us at Urgent Dental Care of New Hampshire. Our dentists can handle the implant process from start to finish.
Dental implants are a life-changer for many people. Will you be next?
Advantages of Dental Implants
Here are a few of the reasons dentists recommend dental implants as the best way to replace missing teeth:
- Because it is a permanent structure, the dental implant is the closest you can get to a natural tooth.
- Dental implants last a long time. If you care for them properly, they can last for the rest of your life.
- Whereas dentures can shift or move, dental implants are secured and integrated to the jawbone so recipients can be confident when smiling, talking, and eating.
- There are no eating restrictions with dental implants, so recipients can eat all of their favorite foods.
- The jawbone is protected with dental implants, so there is no shrinkage of the bone. When teeth are missing, the body no longer sends nutrients to the area, causing the bone to atrophy. Implants continue to stimulate the bone, keeping it healthy.
Dental Implants for Replacing Missing Teeth
Most dentists will tell you that dental implants are the premier choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth.
In their most primitive form, implants go back hundreds of years. Today’s modern implants are a safe, effective way to replace missing teeth and give recipients the best form and function next to their natural teeth.
Designed to take the place of the missing tooth root, the post that makes up the implant itself is made out of titanium. This metal is safe because most people do not have a reaction to it. It usually takes a few months for the implant to fully integrate into the jawbone, making it a permanent part of the bone.
Once the implant is firmly in place, your dentist places a custom crown on top. The crown will take the place of your natural tooth and is designed to blend in perfectly with the rest of your natural teeth.
A permanent dental implant will not shift or move. Recipients are able to speak, eat, and laugh normally with no restrictions, even if all of their teeth have been replaced with implants.
When you are missing only one tooth, a simple single dental implant is the restoration of choice under most circumstances. If you are missing a few or an entire quadrant of teeth, an implant-supported bridge is usually a viable option to restore that part of your smile.
BUT, what can be done for the patient that knows they are going to lose all their natural teeth, or they already wear a full denture that they are not satisfied with? Fortunately, with modern technology and a well trained dental team, it is possible for someone to have a complete reconstruction IN ONE DAY and deliver to the patient a beautiful new smile with an implant retained full-arch restoration. This restoration is also known as an all on 4 or all on 6 restorations, depending on how many implants are required for a specific case.
Steps customarily involved in the full arch implant reconstruction:
- Your dentist will meet with you to discuss your case and the anticipated phases to achieve your esthetic and functional goals with dental implants
- Your dental team will take a series of photos, impressions, bite records and radiographic scans to get a full understanding of your dental anatomy so that a custom plan can be devised
- Once a plan has been devised the dentist will discuss the procedure with you and schedule accordingly. Although the implant procedure is considered minor surgery, we understand there may be apprehension for a larger, full arch reconstruction case. For this reason, we do offer in-office Intravenous (IV) sedation with an anesthesiology team to maximize comfort and minimize stress and anxiety for the patient. We work with Blue Sky Solutions Group as part of our anesthesia team. https://blueskysolutionsgrouppllc.com/
On the day of your implant procedure, the dentist can remove any diseased teeth and complete any bone augmentation required. The dentist will place the implants (usually between 4 and 6 implants). Once the anchoring of the implants has been verified, the custom full-arch restoration can be placed into the mouth and secured to the implants.
This restoration is usually made from highly esthetic acrylic and will esthetically restore your smile and serve as a temporary solution while the implants heal and fuse to the bone, which can take several months. After implant integration and healing is complete, your dentist can make a permanent implant-retained prosthesis made of an even stronger material made to last many years.
Caring for Dental Implants
Unlike dentures, which need to be removed for cleaning, you can care for your implants much as you would for your natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
Make sure you stay current with twice annual trips to the dentist for examinations and cleanings. Dental implants won’t develop cavities like your natural teeth, but good oral care will keep your gums healthy. Your dentist should regularly inspect your dental implants.
Find Out if Dental Implants Might Be a Good Option for You
Make an appointment to come in and talk to us about dental implants and find out if they are a good tooth replacement option for you. We look forward to speaking with you!