Implant Dentistry – A Solution for Missing Teeth As we age, some of us will lose teeth due to disease, injury, or simple daily wear. In addition to bringing about unwanted changes to a person's facial appearance, missing teeth have a negative effect on that person’s confidence and self-esteem. With the advent of implant dentistry, however, those who are missing one, two or several teeth no longer have to accept a lifetime of embarrassment and inconvenience. Dental implants, sturdy titanium posts that are anchored directly into the jawbone and topped with realistic replacement teeth, provide the security and usability of permanently placed teeth.
What are Dental Implants? Dental implants are a restorative dentistry option that allows patients to replace missing teeth with ones that look, feel, and perform like their own. During the first step of this procedure, a doctor skilled in implant dentistry surgically places a titanium screw or post in the patient's jaw. After the gums have healed around the embedded post, a replacement tooth is attached to the top of it.
Dental Implants – Benefits and Possible Complications Dental implants are a vast improvement over conventional dentures. They're more stable and user-friendly than many other teeth replacement options, and because the posts that secure dental implants in place are integrated into the jaw, they also help prevent bone loss and gum recession (because the pressure of chewing on the implant’s crown stimulates the underlying bone and prevents it from deteriorating from disuse). However, some medical circumstances – including radiation therapy in the mouth area, and diseases such as diabetes -- lower the success rate for implant dentistry. For that reason, patients must undergo a rigorous screening process before they may proceed with implant dentistry.
Alternatives for Replacing Missing Teeth Patients can choose from a variety of options to replace missing teeth. In addition to dental implants, there are removable partial dentures held in place by wire clips; fixed dental bridges cemented into position by crowns placed on the teeth adjacent to an empty space; and traditional full dentures.