Dental Implants: The New Solution for Missing Teeth

If you are missing one or more teeth, you are well aware of how important they are to your aesthetic appearance and dental health. Teeth are designed to work in a collaborative effort. Together they help you chew food, smile pretty and speak clearly. When teeth are absent, it can negatively affect any of these mouth functions. Back tooth loss can cause your whole mouth to shift, making you look older than your years.

Luckily, there are several options available to correct this condition. Dental implants are the most permanent and effective tooth replacement solution. However, this invasive surgical procedure is not right for everyone, due to reasons like medical conditions or cost.

Depending on your specific needs, your dentist may suggest one of the following three options to replace your missing teeth: dental implants, a fixed bridge or a removable partial bridge. However, dental implants have proved as one of the best solutions for missing teeth.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants can be used to replace a few teeth, just one, or a whole mouthful. One of the best benefits of dental implants is that the titanium posts are surgically inserted in the jaw. These sturdy anchors become a part of the jaw bone as they hold the prosthetic teeth in place. Because implants are permanently fixed, they can withstand the tremendous impact of biting and chewing. In addition, they blend in well with your natural teeth; only you and your dentist will know you have prosthetic teeth. Other benefits of dental implants are:

  • Dental implants are most like natural teeth.
  • The surrounding teeth are not disturbed in the process.
  • Implants are long lasting.
  • Implants and teeth can be placed in one or two visits.
  • Implants may help prevent jawbone shrinkage due to tooth loss.

Dental Implants Procedure

There are different implant methods. Some procedures are completed in one day, others require months or something in between. Dental implants have come a long way in recent years. Your dentist will devise the best treatment for you.

The tooth implant process typically consists of three phases:

  1. Implant placement: The titanium implant is surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone.
  2. Healing process: It takes time for the bone to grow around the implant and cement it in place. Some patients wait several months before their replacement teeth are attached, others receive their implants and teeth all at the same time.
  3. Replacement tooth or teeth: A custom-made crown, bridge or set of dentures is made to fit your implants and mouth. Once finished, the prosthetic teeth are permanently attached to the posts.