There are many factors that can be attributed to a tooth’s loss, including poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, injury from a car or sporting accident, and even tobacco use. Fortunately, there are many restoration options today that are able to recapture your winning smile with less pain, effort and associated cost than ever before. Dental implants are one of the best options for many patients with missing or recently extracted teeth. Whether you have a single tooth or a series of teeth that need to be replaced, the procedure will afford you a permanent solution that gives the look, feel and use of your original healthy pearly whites.
Missing teeth often make you feel less attractive, less social and less confident. But aesthetics aside, missing teeth can also trigger complications with speaking and eating, and can lead to substantial bone loss. When teeth are absent, the part of the bone that originally supported those teeth can start to deteriorate through a process called resorption and can lead to additional tooth loss. Dental implants stimulate new bone growth around the implant, however, which strengthens the bone structure and prevents resorption.
A single tooth dental implant is in essence, a titanium post that is secured into the jawbone by an oral surgeon. After insertion, your mouth then needs time to heal and to foster the fusion of the post with your jaw bone to form a secure anchor for the replacement tooth. During the healing process, you will most likely be provided with a temporary crown that will allow the healing process to take place while concealing the empty space. A custom permanent crown is then designed and secured to the post once healed, providing a permanent, attractive and comfortable bite.
If you have three or more missing teeth in a row, an implant-supported dental bridge may be recommended instead. Multiple posts are secured in the same manner as with a single tooth restoration, but a separate post is not generally required for each missing tooth. For example, a four tooth bridge may require only two implanted posts. The same goes for a full set of upper or lower teeth, which are usually able to be secured with only four to six posts.
Dental implants have become the preferred restoration option for patients who are looking for a permanent solution. The traditional process can take as little as three months or as long as a year to complete. The strong bond that the post forms with your natural bone over time is what gives the restoration its stability.
Some dental professionals also offer same-day single tooth procedures where the titanium post is surgically set and the crown is placed all in one day (after impressions have been taken). Of course this sounds like the perfect solution, but there is a higher risk of failure with immediate tooth replacement procedures. Since time is not given for the post to form an anchor point with the bone before the permanent crown is placed, the implant may not get a chance to adequately integrate with the bone. This could happen due to too much pressure being put on your new crown while eating or even “grinding” your teeth while sleeping. You must be very careful during the first few months to allow proper healing.
Not all dental circumstances are alike; therefore they don’t all demand the same solution. It’s important that you speak to your dental professional about the risks, benefits and options for dental implant placement, whether using the traditional method or the quicker same-day option.
For more information about dental implant options, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.