Implants replace the root of the missing tooth unlike bridges, dentures, and partials.
In addition, dental implants can last a lifetime! Implants are the only form of complete tooth replacement that replaces both the root and the crown of the tooth.
Bridges, dentures and partials replace only the visual crown of the tooth and need to be replaced sometimes multiple times over the course of your lifetime.
More importantly, without the replacement of the root of the tooth with a dental implant, the loss of your jaw bone is inevitable with bridges, partials and dentures. Experts say up to 30% of your bone can be lost within the first year and up to 60% within the first 3 years following tooth loss. The replacement of the root of the tooth with a dental implant helps to maintain the health of your jaw bone, the functions of eating and speaking, and ultimately your appearance.
The loss of teeth results in the loss of bone support leading to dramatic changes in face shape and contours making you look years older than you actually are. In addition to rapid aging, the loss of bone support results in ill-fitting dentures, uncomfortable partials, and black spaces around bridges.
When considering different options for tooth replacement, implants should be one of your first considerations because the root of the implant stimulates the bone similar to the natural tooth which ultimately maintains your eating, speaking, and confidence in your smile.
What is the difference between a traditional bridge and an implant to replace a missing tooth?
There are a few major differences between a traditional crown and bridge and an implant supported crown or bridge.
Dental implants preserve your natural jaw bone. Traditional bridges do not. Implants can last a lifetime. Traditional tooth supported bridges and crowns on average last from 10-15 years. Dental implants replace the root of the missing tooth. Traditional tooth supported bridges do not. Bridges require that neighboring teeth on either side of the missing tooth be ground down into pegs to accept the supporting crowns that attach to the fake tooth. Traditional bridges generally cost less upfront. However, this is not always the case and when one considers the additional longevity and health benefits of dental implants; they are probably cheaper in the end. Not all dentists have remained current on dental implants and their benefits; therefore, some dentist may still promote traditional bridges as the best option to replace missing teeth out of a lack of understanding and experience with dental implants.
Contact our friendly staff at Dream Dentistry today to set up an appointment today!
How will my teeth look and feel?
Many patients report that a single tooth implant feels and functions just like your natural tooth. The implant replaces both the root and crown of the natural tooth thus maintaining the youthful appearance of your gum tissue, jaw bone, and smile. Multiple implants can be used to replace single teeth or to support bridges or full arch dentures. Implant secured dentures are ideal to preserve your jaw bone and allow you to have a more natural function for eating and speaking which, eliminates many of the frustrations and embarrassments of slipping and loose dentures. The long term esthetics of dental implants are the most natural in look, feel, and function when compared to all other forms of tooth replacement.
Am I a candidate for Dental Implant treatment?
There are very few people who are not good candidates for dental implants. Even people who have lost a significant amount of their jaw bone are still good candidates for dental implants; however, an additional procedure known as a bone graft may be necessary. A few health factors that make dental implants a questionable option are uncontrolled diabetes, smoking, and medications that inhibit healing.
Is my age a factor for Dental Implant treatment?
If you are in relatively good health, age is not a limitation. Many long term denture wearers have found that stabilizing their denture with dental implants or going to an over-denture that is permanently fixed with dental implants, dramatically improves their quality of life. For many patients, a secured denture means a return to speaking clearly, eating the foods you once loved and renewed self-confidence.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment can take anywhere from 1 day to several months. The time needed is determined by the quality of bone that the implant is placed in and your body’s ability to heal. If an additional procedure known as a bone graft is needed to improve the quality of your bone, it can add additional healing time to the completed implant treatment. Typically, 3 to 6 months is a good rule of thumb for the vast majority of patients. There are those who may qualify for immediate load and function of their dental implant all in one day.
How long do Dental Implants last?
30 Years of research shows that dental implants can last a lifetime. For your comparison, research suggests that partials and dentures need to be replaced every five to seven years and that bridges supported by natural teeth last approximately seven to ten years. The National success rate for dental implants is 93-96%. The crown of the implant, the part above the gum line that you use for eating, is what wears out like tread on a tire. A crowns average life span is roughly 10-15 years. Implant failure can occur if certain disease processes like uncontrolled diabetes are present and destroy the bone that supports the implant.
Can a dental implant work with existing dentures?
Every person’s situation is unique and the pros and cons are carefully considered. There are times when an existing denture can be altered to accommodate the new attachments for the dental implants. We understand that dental implants and dentures are a big investment and will work with you to best accommodate your personal needs and budget.
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