People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can't keep up. If you've lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees. It is a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post.
The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.
Single or Multiple Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge. Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a number of strategically placed implants can be used to support several bridges or support a full denture.
Advantages of Implants
Conventional bridges require the support of the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth. While this has been an acceptable option for the replacement of missing teeth for a long time it is not without risks. The teeth that support the bridge are subjected to more that their fair share of force from biting. They can fracture leading to failure of the bridge and loss of more teeth. Implants do not depend on the adjacent teeth for support so the natural teeth stay healthy.
If you have lost all of your teeth implants can greatly improve the retention of your dentures making it easier to eat and smile with confidence.
Implants cannot fall victim to tooth decay. They can be lost due to poor oral hygiene and the resulting periodonal disease so it is important to keep them clean and visit us regularly.