An excellent way to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
- A missing tooth or teeth
- Potential bite and jaw joint problems from teeth shifting to fill the space
- The "sunken face" look associated with missing teeth
- Desire to improve chewing ability
- Desire for a more permanent solution than fixed bridges or dentures
- Desire to improve retention of a denture
- Desire to replace a missing tooth or teeth by means other than a bridge
- Desire to improve one's smile
A dental implant is a fixture used to replace the root of a tooth. The implant is surgically placed in the jawbone and a porcelain tooth is attached to the top of the implant, creating a natural looking and undetectable replacement for the missing tooth. In the event that more than one tooth is missing, several implants may provide a base for a series of artificial teeth known as a fixed bridge (see fixed bridges.) Implants can even be used to secure a full set of removable dentures for people who have no remaining natural teeth. This can improve chewing ability by greatly increasing the stability and retention of the denture.
A dental implant with a crown attached on top is the closest thing to regrowing your natural tooth. There is no need to alter the teeth on either side as would be necessary to fill in the space with a bridge. Therefore, an implant can be cleaned at home with similar brushing and flossing techniques which increases longevity. Implants are durable and esthetic.
The increase in retention, stability and chewing efficiency is dramatic when attaching a denture to two or more implants.
Dental implants are excellent, state-of-the-art restorations and have few disadvantages when compared to alternatives such as bridges or dentures. However, dental implants do require surgery and time to heal, and they are initially more expensive than fixed bridges or conventional dentures. These disadvantages are offset by the increased function and long term health benefits of implants.
Fixed bridges are an alternative for one or a few missing teeth. Partial dentures are an alternative for a few to several missing teeth. Complete dentures, either implant supported or not, can be used when all the teeth in an arch are missing.