A dental implant designed to replace a single tooth is composed of three parts: the titanium implant that fuses with the jawbone; the abutment, which screws into the top of the implant, and the crown, which is created by your dentist and cemented onto the abutment.
Dental implants are an excellent treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike dentures which rest on your gums, or bridges that required the shaving down of adjacent teeth, dental implants are anchored to your bone just like your teeth. Dental implants are long-term replacements that can replace just one tooth or a complete set of teeth
Statistics show that 70 percent of adults ages thirty-five to forty-four have lost at least one permanent tooth due to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal, or tooth decay. Furthermore, by age of seventy-four, 25 percent of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.
Twenty years ago, these patients would have had no alternative but to replace those teeth with either a fixed bridge or removable denture. Fixed bridges and removable dentures, however, have limitations. Removable dentures may slip or cause embarrassing clicking sounds while eating or speaking. Fixed bridges require that the adjacent teeth, often perfectly healthy teeth, be shaved down to provide retention for the bridge.
Today there is another option for patients who are missing permanent teeth. Dental implants are long-term replacements that Dr. Clark, Dr. Cole, or Dr. Patel surgically place into the bone of your jaws. Dental implants are composed of titanium metal that “fuses” with the jawbone through a process called “osseointegration.” Dental implants do not slip or make embarrassing noises that advertise the fact that you have “false teeth,” nor do they decay like the teeth anchoring a bridge.
After more than 20 years of service, the vast majority of dental implants placed by Dr. Clark, Dr. Cole, and Dr. Patel continue to provide outstanding function. More importantly, the recipients of those dental implants are still satisfied they made the right choice.
Conventional dentures may contribute to the loss of bone in the area where teeth are missing. As in the illustration, the presence of natural teeth preserves the jawbone. When a tooth is missing, the bone may erode and weaken until it may be necessary for Dr. Clark, Dr. Cole, or Dr. Patel to graft bone to the area to strengthen it for placement of a dental implant. When a missing tooth is replaced by a dental implant, the fusion, or osseointegration, of the implant to bone provides stability, just as the natural tooth did.
If you are missing several teeth in the same area of your mouth, you may still enjoy the confidence and lifestyle benefits that come with dental implants. Dr. Clark, Dr. Cole, or Dr. Patel can place two or more dental implants, depending on the number of teeth that are missing. Your replacement teeth will be attached to the implants to allow excellent function and prevent bone loss. The implants will serve as a stable support that tightly locks into your replacement teeth and dentures to prevent slipping and bone loss.
Dental Implants vs. Conventional Dentures
Many patients who have selected dental implants describe a quality of life that is much more comfortable and secure than the lifestyle endured by those with removable dentures. Dentures often make a person feel and look older than they are, cause embarrassment in social situations when they slip and click, and restrict the everyday pleasure of eating comfortably.
When they count the benefits they enjoy as a result of their dental implants, patients say their implants eliminate the day-to-day frustrations and discomfort of ill-fitting dentures. They allow people to enjoy a healthy and varied diet without the restrictions many denture wearers face. With a sense of renewed self-confidence, many people rediscover the excitement of an active lifestyle shared with family and friends and the chance to speak clearly and comfortably with co-workers. For all these reasons, people with dental implants often say they feel better… they look better… they live better.
Dental Implants are a Team Effort
Dental implants combine the best of modern science and technology, including a team approach spanning several disciplines.
A successful implant requires that all parties involved — the patient, the dentist, and the oral surgeon follow a careful plan of treatment. All members of the implant team stay in close contact with each other to make sure everyone clearly understands what needs to be done to meet the patient’s expectations.
The team is organized as soon as the decision for placing a dental implant is reached. Following an evaluation that includes a comprehensive examination, x-rays and a consultation with the patient and members of the implant team, Dr. Clark, Dr. Cole, or Dr. Patel surgically place the implants in your jaw.
When the implants have stabilized in the jaw, your dentist prepares an impression of the upper and lower jaws. This impression is used to make the model from which the dentures or crowns are created.
The teamwork continues long after the implant and crown have been placed. Follow-up examinations are critical, and progress is carefully charted. Dr. Clark, Dr. Cole, and Dr. Patel, along with your dentist continue to work together to provide the highest level of aftercare.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Whether you are a young, middle-aged or older adult; whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth, there is a dental implant solution for you. With the exception of growing children, dental implants are the solution of choice for people of all ages.
Implant tooth replacement in children is usually deferred until their jaw growth is complete. There are, however, some instances when a dental implant may be appropriate, such as when it is part of the child’s orthodontic treatment plan. Your family dentist or orthodontist can guide you in this instance.
With an overall success rate of about 95% and almost 50 years of clinical research to back them up, dental implants are often the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Please call the office of Dr. Clark, Dr. Cole, and Dr. Patel to arrange a consultation.