A dental implant is the root portion of a tooth. By choosing to have a dental implant, it gives your dentist the ability to place a crown, or denture, in the area of a missing tooth. By placing a dental implant where teeth are missing, it helps preserve the jaw bone that would normally atrophy, or shrink, after a tooth has been lost. Treatment to fit your specific needs may vary from one surgical procedure to multiple, depending on case complexity.
You should know that the healing process generally takes about 4-8 months, and you will always have a tooth replacement while you are healing.
Why should you replace a missing tooth or teeth?
- You may not like the appearance of a missing tooth or teeth.
- Your speech may be affected.
- It may be difficult to chew your food.
- You may be noticing your teeth shifting or moving to fill in the space of the missing tooth.
- Bone loss can occur when a tooth has been lost. Over time, this may cause your remaining teeth to become loose.
- You may be noticing chipping or fracturing of your remaining teeth due to too much force being placed on them to make up for the tooth or teeth that are missing.
- You may be noticing a change in the quality of your life in social settings.
What are the benefits of replacing a single tooth with a dental implant?
- When you replace a single missing tooth with a dental implant, it prevents the teeth on either side of the missing tooth from needing any additional, invasive dental work.
- It allows you to floss, clean and care for your teeth just as if it were a natural tooth.
- The implant stimulates your jaw bone, keeping it alive and healthy. Without the implant, your jaw may shrink, possibly causing damage to the surrounding teeth.
An implant supported bridge gives you the opportunity to replace multiple missing teeth. The implant supported bridge will not need to be removed throughout the day, and will act as if it were your natural teeth. This avoids the need for an uncomfortable partial denture that needs to be removed and replaced daily.
If you are missing all of your teeth, and you would like more stability and comfort, an implant supported denture is an option for you. Dental implants help support and stabilize your denture allowing you to have better chewing efficiency. They also allow you to speak freely without worrying about shifting of your denture.