Dealing with an imperfect smile is something no one should have to go through. Missing teeth can not only cause issues in everyday speech and the enjoyment of favorite foods, they can also have a negative impact on a person’s self-esteem. Luckily, there are options out there for tooth replacement that can improve a patient’s smile and confidence for good.
Are You a Candidate?
Dental implants may be a great option for people who have lost teeth due to disease, injury, or some other circumstance and are looking to permanently repair their smile. The right candidate for dental implants must have good general and oral health.
Because adequate bone strength is needed in the jaw to support the implant, the best candidate is someone who has healthy gum tissue, free from periodontal disease. Those who have diabetes or heart disease, have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area, or who are heavy smokers should be evaluated on an individual basis by the dentist before being given the go-ahead.
Types of Dental Implants
One of the most successful and long-lasting options for tooth replacement is dental implants. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into the jaw bone to hold a new replacement root or bridge. The implant acts as the new root for the tooth and can be placed without using the surrounding teeth as support. Once each implant fuses with the jawbone, a crown will be placed on top of the brand new tooth to match surrounding teeth.
Endosteal (in the bone) is the most common type of dental implant. The various types of this particular implant include cylinders, blades, or screws surgically placed into the jawbone. Each dental implant holds one or more artificial teeth. Endosteal is typically used as an alternative for patients with removable dentures or bridges.
Subperiosteal (on the bone) implants are placed on top of the jawbone with the metal framework’s posts sticking through the gum to hold the prosthesis. This type of dental implant is used for patients who have minimal bone height and are unable to wear traditional dentures.
Dentals Implants vs. Dentures
One of the biggest considerations patients have when it comes to replacing teeth is whether they want to go with dentures or dental implants. Dentures are removable artificial teeth that seat on the gums, giving the appearance of a brand new smile. Dentures aren’t for everyone, though—they often slip while wearers are eating or speaking and can promote infection if not fitted properly.
That said, dentures are smart options for those with weak or unhealthy gums and jaws that cannot support dental implants. It’s important to note that while dentures tend to be less expensive than dental implants, implants offer more security, ensuring that artificial teeth do not shift or fall out over time.
Keep in mind that getting dental implants is a very expensive procedure, requiring multiple visits to a cosmetic dentist. Dental implants enhance overall mouth function, preserving bone and preventing loss of other teeth. For more information on the dental implant procedure, contact our office today for a consultation.