Dental implants are anchoring units for natural-looking replacements for missing teeth.  Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth, most dental professionals agree that implants are superior to conventional dentures.  In fact, you could say implants are the closest substitute to having your natural teeth.  The placement of an implant generally is a three-part process that takes several months.   An implant consists of the implant body, implant abutment, and implant crown. 

 If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem:

  • A gap between your teeth, if obvious when you smile or speak, is a cosmetic concern.
  • Missing teeth may affect your speech.
  • Missing a molar might not be noticeable when you talk or smile, but its absence can affect chewing.
  • When a tooth is removed, the biting force on the remaining teeth begins to change.  As the bite changes to compensate for the lost tooth, there is a risk of extra pressure and discomfort on the jaw joints, which may lead to temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMD.
  • If a missing tooth is not replaced, the surrounding teeth can shift.  Harmful plaque and tartar can collect in new hard-to-reach places created by the shifting teeth.  Over time, this may lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
  • Bone loss can occur in the region of the missing tooth.
  • An implant can be used to support a bridge or denture.

Implants in place of full or partial dentures:

Dental implants can eliminate the numerous embarrassing inconveniences of removable partial and full dentures.  You will eliminate the use of sticky denture adhesives that must be applied many times throughout the day.  You will no longer need to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, for fear that your teeth will pop out.  

Dental implants allow you to eat the things you like without fear.  The average denture patient with an excellent fitting denture eats at 15-20% efficiency when compared to a person with natural teeth.  As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduces even more, making it difficult to eat certain foods.  Dental implants, on the other hand, can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth.  This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.  A full upper denture covers the palate of the mouth and reduces the ability to taste foods.   With dental implants, you can have the palate removed from your upper denture so you taste and enjoy your food.

Dental implants give you improved speech ability.  With ill fitting dentures the teeth slip and slide around the mouth.  The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the teeth in place.  This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises.  Implant supported replacement teeth allow you to speak with confidence in a relaxed and natural tone.

Implant supported full or partial dentures:

Dental implants eliminate the pain and discomfort of removable full or partial dentures.  Since dentures sit on top of the jawbone and gums, continuous shrinkage of the jaw bone changes the fit of the denture resulting in slipping or rocking of the dentures.  Dental implant supported replacement teeth are like natural teeth because they are anchored securely to your jawbone.  Gum irritation and the pain of exposed nerves associated with conventional full or partial dentures are eliminated.  Just think, no more uncomfortable dentures.  Never again worry about slippage, embarrassing gaps, sore spots or adhesives.  Dental implants can give you the confidence, look and feel you deserve.

Great Investment:

Although dental implant treatment may initially be more expensive than other treatment methods it often turns out to be the best investment from a long term perspective since most patients can expect them to last a lifetime.  Other treatment methods like bridges and dentures often require regular alterations and adjustments over time.

If you are considering dental implants Dr. Smith will help determine if you would be a good candidate.   502-499-2032