Why should you replace missing teeth?
Many people believe that it is not necessary to replace teeth that have been lost due to decay or gum disease. One common comment that I’ve heard through the years is: “I don’t need it, Doc. It doesn’t show!”
People do not realize that if you do not replace missing teeth, the remaining teeth will shift into the space causing a “domino effect” and eventual loss of more teeth! It will be harder to chew and digest food without teeth. In addition, having missing teeth and an unattractive smile can even affect your bank account. Research has shown that people with more attractive smiles are likely to earn an average of 3 to 4% more than a person with unattractive smiles!
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are a natural-looking dental device used to replace teeth lost to decay or trauma. It is a metal screw that is placed in the jaw bone which then attaches to a crown, bridge, or denture. An implant is more durable and longer lasting than a traditional dental bridge or denture replacements because it functions in the same manner as an actual tooth root. Because it is titanium, it cannot decay, rot out, or need a root canal, un-like a natural tooth.
How does a dental implant replace teeth?
The implant is basically a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone. Over the next several months, natural bone grows around the implant to secure it in place. Once secured, a metal or ceramic post (“abutment”) is screwed into the implant. When replacing individual teeth, a crown (also called a “cap”) is fabricated to fit over the abutment. The implant supported crown feels and looks like a real tooth! When replacing several teeth, implants can be attached to frameworks that then hold fixed bridges or removable dentures.
How reliable are dental implants?
Dental implants have been shown to be 93-98% successful when placed in natural bone. A high quality implant placed in a non-smoker’s mouth can last a lifetime.
When replacing one tooth, why choose an implant over a dental bridge?
The life expectancy of a traditional bridge is approximately seven years. Even though a three unit bridge is less expensive than an implant supported crown, the implant makes better financial sense because it is more reliable and can last a lifetime. Unlike natural teeth holding bridges, the implant cannot decay.
The other reason to choose a single implant over a bridge is because the implant procedure is the most conservative way to replace one tooth. When fabricating a bridge, healthy teeth on either side of the space must be shaved down to hold the bridge in place; this can lead to eventual decay, damage to the nerve requiring root canal, or even loss of these healthy teeth holding the bridge!
An implant simply replaces the one missing tooth, and does no damage to adjacent teeth.
Why would a young person need a dental implant?
Sports injuries often cause damage to front teeth. These teeth are most often best replaced with an implant. Also, when young adults are congenitally missing permanent teeth, the dental implant is usually the best method to replace these missing teeth.
Would I have dental implants put in my own mouth?
Yes I would and I did! I have two dental implants. I LOVE them. They’re easy to keep clean and function like regular teeth.
To find out more about dental implants or other dental procedures,
Call the office of Dr. Amy Golden #856-768-3332 or visit her web site at www.agoldensmile.com.