What’s the Best Choice for Tooth Replacement?
Apart from the aesthetic impact of a lost tooth, losing even one permanent tooth can put your overall oral health off track. Tooth loss can lead to bone atrophy, leaving neighboring teeth unsupported and putting you at risk for further tooth loss. Patients who are missing multiple teeth may also face additional risks to their oral and overall health, including a negative impact on the person’s emotional well-being and confidence. People who have suffered tooth loss have reported feeling incomplete or embarrassed of their appearance, and sometimes even isolate themselves due to depression and anxiety.
We understand that losing a tooth can be an emotional situation, but we encourage patients to evaluate their tooth replacement options as soon as possible to avoid rapid bone loss. Once the foundation for a potential implant deteriorates, people may no longer be a good candidate for an implant or some other tooth replacement options.
Dental Implants: The Most Natural Solution
Dental implants do more than simply replace missing teeth. They also act as an anchor below the gum line and stimulate the bone just like natural teeth would. Dental implants are durable, lasting roughly 10 to 15 years longer than other prosthetic tooth replacement options, often the lifetime of the patient.
Fixed bridges and dentures offer limited relief from the effects of tooth loss, but may have side effects of their own. Bridges need to be replaced more often to avoid bone loss, some patients report that living with dentures may be uncomfortable or inconvenient.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant replaces the lost roots of teeth. The roots of teeth are very important for maintaining healthy bone mass. Once a tooth is lost, bone is left unstimulated. Because dental implants are made from strong and biocompatible titanium, the bone surrounding the implant will generate new tissue and integrate with the implant. As the implant stabilizes, a permanent prosthetic such as a dental crown or a bridge can be attached to an abutment that slightly protrudes through the gums.
Once the prosthetic is secured to the implant, your smile is beautifully restored with a natural-looking and functioning tooth replacement. The entire process from implant to placement of the crown typically takes six months to complete, although this varies based on each patient.
What to expect during Dental Implant Surgery?
Prior to surgery, your dentist has evaluated your bone strength and viability to make sure your implant remains firmly where it has set and complications are minimized. When you arrive at the office for your implant surgery, you will receive anesthetic prior to the implant being placed. If you are very anxious about the procedure, please tell our team and we can prescribe a sedative prior to the appointment. Your Dental Depot implant dentist will then make a small incision through the gums and create a canal in the bone for the implant. The actual implant is placed into this hole. Your gums will then be sutured. Over the next several months, the implant will become integrated with the bone. Finally, a crown will be placed on top of the healed implant for a beautiful permanent smile.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer unique advantages when compared to other tooth replacement options. First, stabilized implants are very durable and long lasting. Unlike dentures, a dental implant can hold prosthetics firmly for decades, if not the rest of a person’s life. This durability is important for restoring oral function, too, because implants allow patients to eat a full diet of even difficult to chew foods. Dentures tend to become ill fitting over time, while dental implants won’t.
Implants also are low maintenance. Unlike dentures, which require removal for cleaning, or bridges that might need water irrigation underneath their crowns, dental implants are cleaned by brushing and flossing, just like your natural teeth.
Scheduling a Consultation
The first step toward your dental implant is a consultation with your Dental Depot implant dentist. During your consultation, our team will discuss your replacement options, answer your questions, provide information about the procedure and perform an initial exam to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
If you are not a candidate for dental implants, our dentist will suggest other tooth replacement options that may be a better match for you. We believe that none of our Phoenix patients should live with an incomplete smile. With implant dentistry at the Dental Depot, this goal is within your reach.