Without a doubt, dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. There are more affordable options, like dentures and bridges, but neither address all the issues often associated with missing teeth. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth, so the patient is free to go back to normal life once these prosthetics are installed.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are prosthetics that are surgically inserted into the patient's jawbone. They are usually reserved for those who have enough healthy bone tissue to support the post. During the procedure, the dentist will surgically insert a screw — normally made from titanium — into the person's jawbone. The screw is called an implant.
The screw is then left to fuse with the patient's jawbone tissue, forming a secure, firm fit. This normally takes around three to six months, depending on the patient's oral health. This process is called osseointegration. When a patient has lots of healthy bone tissue, temporary crowns are sometimes attached to the implant while it is still fusing.
Once the screw has fully fused with the implant, permanent crowns are attached on the external-facing end of the screw – known as an abutment.
Why dental implants are often the tooth replacement option of choice
1. Prevents teeth from shifting
When a person is missing one or more of their natural teeth, it is completely normal for the remaining teeth to begin to move toward the gap in an attempt to fill the void. This often leads to complications like crowded teeth or unevenly spaced teeth. The result is a crooked smile and teeth that are harder to properly clean.
2. Preserves jawbone tissue
While dentures and bridges can be used to replace missing teeth, these prosthetics do not do anything to address the jawbone loss that occurs when a tooth's root is missing. The jawbone begins to disintegrate, since it is no longer being adequately stimulated.
Dental implants are connected to the patient's jawbone, and this ensures the bone tissue is being stimulated enough to ensure it remains healthy. Whenever the patient chews something, the jawbone is always stimulated.
3. Can be combined with dentures
While dentures are the most affordable option for people missing multiple teeth, these prosthetics sometimes come with complications like mouth sores, sunken lips, a bad fit, constant shifting of the device and being unable to eat certain things. Traditional dentures also fail to address the bone loss associated with missing teeth.
Implant-supported dentures allow patients to take advantage of the affordability of dentures and the many benefits of implants. It provides a permanent solution for denture wearers and eliminates the need for daily cleaning and removal of the prosthetic. It gives patients the best of both worlds.
Thinking about replacing your missing teeth with dental implants? Explore your options with one of our dentists today!
Call (813) 430-0933 today to reach North Tampa Dentistry.
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