If you’re missing any of your teeth, then don’t feel alone. Recent data shows that an astonishing 100 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Thankfully, for those who want to correct their dental woes, there is help available with dental implants. As you read on, you’ll learn about the process and why it’s vital to have your teeth restored, whether you’re missing one or a full arch.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant can simply be described as an artificial tooth root. Made from high-grade titanium, it is surgically placed beneath the gumline and fuses with your existing jawbone over time through a process called osseointegration. This is made possible because titanium is a biocompatible material that is less likely to cause allergic reaction.
How is a Single Tooth Restored?
When a tooth root is replaced with a dental implant, that is just part of the process. There still remains the need to restore the missing tooth. The dentist will attach an abutment (a titanium anchor) to the implant that allows for a restoration to be added.
For a single missing tooth, a porcelain crown will be placed. The tooth-colored fixture will restore both the look and functionality of your tooth.
An Option for Multiple Missing Teeth
If you have two or more teeth missing consecutively, you may need an implant-supported bridge. Unlike the traditional method that consists of a fixture that rests above the gums, the implant-supported bridge attaches to the implant via an abutment. It consists of two or more crown restorations affixed to one apparatus and leaves you with a more durable and natural-looking fixture.
How to Replace a Full Arch?
For patients who are missing an entire arch or all their teeth, the dentist offers implant-supported dentures. The porcelain teeth, which rest on a resin base, are held in place by clasping or snapping to the implants. Thus, you won’t have to worry about them slipping or falling out of your mouth.
Why It’s Important to Replace Your Missing Teeth
If you’ve been living without your teeth, then it’s time to replace them for several reasons:
- Improved Confidence – Having a full set of teeth leaves you feeling better about yourself, which has positive implications on your interactions with other people.
- Better Functionality – Replacing your missing teeth will also allow you to chew your food better and improve your digestion.
- Bone Loss Prevention – One of the major issues with tooth loss is the bone degeneration that occurs over time, which can lead to facial collapse. With dental implants restoring the missing tension at the jawbone level, though, you can prevent harmful bone loss.
- Anti-Aging Properties – In reversing bone loss, dental implants also help to prevent an aged look by combatting premature facial wrinkling. The new bone cell production that is triggered by your dental implants will help to keep the skin as tight as it can be.
When you have your teeth replaced with dental implants, you’ll be able to regain the life you once had. To learn more, contact your local dentist to schedule a consultation. While there, you’ll be thoroughly examined, and you’ll be able to ask any questions you may have.
With the help of a skilled professional, you’ll soon have a healthy and beautiful smile!
About the Author
Dr. Barry Polansky is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and for over 40 years, he’s been providing expert care to his patients. Throughout his career, he’s remained steadfast in his efforts to expand his knowledge, which is why he takes continuing education courses annually in such areas as implantology (including placement and restoration). Dr. Polansky helps patients enjoy fuller lives with new dental implants at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.