We are living longer than ever. Brushing, flossing, and annual dental checkups allow most of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime. However, sometimes our teeth just cannot keep up. Patients lose teeth. If you have lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury, decay or periodontal disease then dental implants can help. Dental implants replace missing teeth by replacing the entire lost tooth structure.
A dental implant is a substitute tooth root that is placed into the jawbone. The “root” is made out of titanium. This is the same material used in hips and knees replacements. Titanium is bio-compatible with bone. In fact, bone grows up to and fuses to the dental implant. Once the artificial tooth root is anchored in the jaw bone, a replacement tooth is placed. Restored dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth.
The ideal implant patient is a non-smoker in good dental health with an adequate amount of jaw bone, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease. However, dental implants can still be placed in smokers, areas of low bone volume and diabetic patients.
Dental implants are extremely versatile. Patients missing one tooth, a single dental implant will replace the missing tooth. Patients missing several teeth in a row are a candidate for a dental implant bridge. The advantage of an implant bridge is that is replaces multiple teeth with the least amount of dental implants. Lastly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a dental implant denture or the All on Four implant technique can restore your mouth.
Advantages Over Dentures or Bridges
Old fashioned bridges damage adjacent teeth. In order for a bridge to be places the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth must be irreversibly cut down. Then the bridge is placed. It is difficult to keep clean and the support teeth are prone to dying and needing root canals. Plus, the support teeth usually get decay and the bridge will have to be redone.
Old fashioned dentures are not secure. The dentures are large bulky plastic plates that merely rest on the gum tissue. Patients complain about the fit of the dentures. The dentures are not stable and thus patients must use massive amounts of denture adhesives. The dentures are prone to falling out causing massive embarrassment. Plus, denture wearers cannot eat certain foods and are limited to a soft diet.
Dental Implant Care
Consider your implant teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same number of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last. To see how dental implants can change your life, call our office today. See why Dr. Nugent is the dental implant leader in Pasadena, Texas.