Should I Consider Dental Implants?

If you are missing one or more teeth, then you probably already know how much missing a tooth can affect your life. Missing teeth change your appearance and can hinder your ability to speak normally in addition to making it difficult to enjoy all of the foods you love. Plus, leaving a missing tooth unreplaced can result in the deterioration of your jawbone, an altered appearance, and the loss of neighboring teeth as a result of their shifting into the open space left by the lost tooth.

If you’re missing one or several teeth, then you already know replacing them is worthwhile for all the reasons listed above. Deciding how you replace them, however, is another important decision that you’ll need to make.

Older woman pointing at her smiling mouth

Tooth-Replacement Options

Depending on how many teeth you are missing, there are several restorative treatment options available for you to choose from including:

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the most popular tooth-replacement option available. A dental implant is a permanent restorative treatment that looks, works, and feels like a natural tooth.

Each dental implant consists of three pieces:

  • Anchor – The anchor of a dental implant is a metal, screw-like dental appliance that is surgically implanted in a patient’s jawbone. The anchor holds the implant in place and acts as the “roots” of the artificial tooth.
  • Dental Crown or Cap – The dental crown is the visible portion of a complete dental implant. Typically made from porcelain or porcelain fused to metal, a crown is designed to create a seamless match with neighboring teeth and a comfortable, natural-feeling fit.
  • Abutment – The abutment is a metal portion of a dental implant that connects the anchor to the dental crown.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most popular tooth replacement option because they offer several benefits.

  • Since they are anchored into the patient’s jawbone, just like a natural tooth with roots, implants are the most natural-feeling tooth replacement option available.
  • Dental implants function just like natural teeth.
  • They blend in seamlessly with the neighboring teeth in your smile and are custom-designed for a perfectly comfortable fit.
  • Dental implants never slip or slide around or cause mouth sores the way traditional dentures can.
  • They require no sticky adhesives like traditional dentures.
  • They are a versatile option that can be used to replace individual teeth, multiple teeth, or to support other types of dental appliances.
  • Dental implants are long-lasting. The implant should last for life if properly cared for, and your crown can last for up to 15 years or longer if taken care of.
  • Dental implants are easy to take care of. Simply continue practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.

When You Might Need a Dental Implant

Dental implants are a tooth-replacement option that can be used to restore the smiles of patients that are missing one or multiple teeth. They can basically be used in two different ways.

1. To Replace a Missing Tooth

Single dental implants capped with dental crowns are used to replace individual missing teeth or multiple missing teeth that are not in a row.

2. To Replace Multiple Teeth by Supporting a Dental Appliance

Dental implants can also be used to support other types of dental appliances that are used to replace several consecutive missing teeth or all of a person’s teeth. In these instances, dental implants can be used to support dental bridges, permanently fixed dentures, or snap-on dentures.

Implant-supported dental bridges and dentures provide a perfect option for replacing several teeth while still taking advantage of the natural look and feel of dental implants and their jawbone-stimulating benefits.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Dental implants are a wonderful option for restoring a patient’s smile when they are missing one or more teeth. However, they are not always right for everyone.

To be considered a candidate for dental implants, a patient must be healthy enough to undergo and heal from the implant placement process. Patients must also have enough existing jawbone mass to support the dental implants they need. If an adequate jawbone is not present, this may be remedied with a pre-implant, bone grafting procedure designed to shore up the jawbone in preparation for a dental implant.

Additionally, a patient must have relatively good oral health with no current signs of gum (periodontal) disease. The harmful bacteria present in the mouth when periodontal disease is present creates inflammation and can hinder the healing process, reducing the chances of a successful dental implant procedure.

Patients must also be willing to abstain from tobacco and alcohol use throughout the, sometimes several months long, process of bone grafting, dental implantation, osseointegration, and healing. Furthermore, it’s strongly advised that patients continue to abstain from using these substances, as they can harm your oral health and compromise your dental implant in the future.

Dental Restoration and Smile Makeovers at Smiles at the Exchange

If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to find out if dental implants are the right tooth-replacement option for you, we welcome you to contact Smiles at the Exchange to schedule a smile restoration consultation. In addition to dental implants, we offer a variety of restorative and cosmetic dental treatments designed to help you restore the full function of your smile while achieving the look you desire. To learn more, please contact our dental office in Miamisburg today.

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