Tooth restoration once almost invariably meant dentures or bridges, but both of these solutions had serious limitations. Today, it's almost always better to get dental implants OR implant-supported dentures than traditional dentures/bridges.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
An implant root is a metal stick that looks more or less like a screw and is made out of of titanium. This titanium root will be inserted into a hole made in the gums and/or bone below where your missing tooth used to be.
The bottom end of the implant will either rest on or slightly inside of your underlying bone tissue. Either way, the titanium will naturally bond to the bone so firmly that you can use your new implant tooth exactly as you would a natural tooth.
A connector piece called an "abutment" is used to connect the top of the implant root to the dental crown. Modern crowns are custom-fit to the exact appearance and contours of your lost tooth, so it will blend right in.
Dental implants usually take two or more dental visits to complete, though same-day dental implants can also be down under certain circumstances.
Dental implants have been in use now for over 30 years, and the most modern versions of implants have a 99% success rate.
Implants VS Bridges
When only missing one or two teeth, a dental bridge was the usual answer in days gone by. But today, it's often better to get a dental implant instead.
Fixed bridges require support from adjacent teeth. This means you damage your good tooth in the process of replacing a missing tooth, unless it's a resin-bonded bridge, which is often used for missing front teeth since they need not bear as much weight during chewing.
Plus, a bridge will not stimulate bone growth or retention below it, like a dental implant will. Therefore, bone matter may resorb into the body below the bridge, weakening it.
And finally, the difficulty of flossing between bridge teeth often causes their roots to decay away within 5 or 10 years. At that point, an implant might be needed anyway, so why not just get one to begin with? Implants can last for decades or even for a lifetime.
Implants VS Dentures
Dentures also allow gums and bone to deteriorate below them. This can cause you to need new dentures with different contours after only a few years. Plus, it may cause great discomfort while chewing or speaking. Even coughing, yawning, or smiling can be painful in some cases.
Additionally, traditional dentures are rather difficult to clean and have to be removed every night before you sleep. And uncomfortable denture paste will also be needed to keep them from slipping around/off while you wear them.
If you need one or two full arches of artificial teeth, implant-supported permanent dentures will avoid the problems associated with traditional dentures.
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants, contact Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Ormond Beach, FL, today!