Before the technology of dental implants was developed, dentists relied on bridges, partials, or complete dentures to replace a missing or compromised tooth. Now, dental implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth.
In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew.
For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so you have a more natural-looking smile.
Bridges require crowns which may compromise the life of existing teeth that must be altered to accommodate bridges.
In many cases, opting for bridges to replace a tooth can lead to accelerated decay and subsequent cavity formation.
An implant consists of a titanium screw that functions as the root of a tooth, the implant abutment (coping that provides support to the new crown), and the implant crown. The titanium screw, or implant post, is crucial in helping maintain the strength and size of the mouth’s bone structure, which supports the teeth and will be lost or diminished in strength, health and size once a tooth is absent. Implants maintain the health of the existing bone and limit the amount lost over time. Implants can be used to replace multiple teeth (as in a bridge) or to retain or support partial and complete dentures, ensuring the quality of those options for replacement.
Implants function like teeth, can be flossed and brushed like teeth and are not removed. Implant placement is typically a 6-12 month process to ensure osseointegration, fusion of the implant with surrounding bone. If proper care and hygiene measures are taken, implants can last a lifetime.
With implant treatment, you can smile confidently knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.