When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are usually considered to be the most natural appearing and functioning option. An implant replaces the natural root of a tooth; a dental crown is then permanently attached to the implant. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, a few teeth, or can even be used to anchor an entire denture.
In most cases a dental implant can be placed in our office with local anesthesia, though for those people who would prefer sedation we can make the procedure even more comfortable.
Why replace a missing tooth?
When a tooth is extracted many changes occur in that area. Some of these changes happen instantly while some take months or even years. Depending on what is done to prevent this and depending on when it is done, some of these changes will affect future treatment in that area. Some changes that result from not replacing a lost tooth are:
- Bone shrinkage in that area
- Gum shrinkage in that area
- Movement of adjacent teeth into the empty space resulting in gaps between other teeth and a changed bite
- Movement of opposing teeth into that area (upper tooth moves down, or vice versa)
- Loss of chewing power
- Smile showing tooth missing
- Speech changes
Luckily most people are suitable candidates to receive dental implants. Depending on the situation, procedures like grafting of additional bone may be necessary with the placement of implants. A comprehensive examination and consultation is needed to properly assess and discuss the treatment options available specific to you.
Single tooth implants or implants replacing more than one tooth are a great option for people who:
- do not want to cut down adjacent natural teeth for a bridge
- do not have available teeth to utilize for a bridge
- do not have strong enough adjacent teeth to be utilized for a bridge
- want to have the most natural tooth replacement option
Implant supported dentures are a great option for people who:
- want more chewing power
- cannot tolerate wearing thick dentures
- don’t want to have an appliance that moves around in their mouth or drops when they speak
- are getting chronic sores from their loose dentures
- do not have enough bone to support a denture