Dental Implants

Dental Implants


dental implants diagram

Replacing Missing Teeth Is Important.

Dental implants are becoming very quickly some of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth. And that’s exactly what they’re created for. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. If you’re someone that has lost a tooth and you’re contemplating a solution to get that tooth replaced, dental implants are something you should be considering.

This can be a single tooth by itself or it can be all of the teeth on the top or all of the teeth on the bottom. And what’s really great about dental implants is that it feels the most like your natural teeth.

With other replacement options you have to learn how to floss a different way or you have to use special cleaners and a special extra step to clean your prostheses, whereas a dental implant, you get to brush it and floss it like you would a normal tooth. So as far as learning how to take care of a dental implant, if you choose to go that route, it’s gonna be really simple. The rules of natural teeth also apply to implants.

A dental implant is actually made up of three parts. The implant is kind of like a titanium root. It looks like a little screw that is surgically implanted into the bone of your jaw. The next piece is called an abutment and it’s basically a connector. And what the connector does is it connects to the titanium root or the implant into the crown, which is the part that replaces the tooth above the gum line.

Dental implants are important to consider because you don’t want to put extra stress on teeth around the missing tooth. Your teeth were designed specifically to do a certain job. And when one goes missing, the other teeth around it have to pick up the slack for the missing tooth.

We eat about a thousand meals in a year. If you eat a thousand meals a year, you’re talking about tens of thousands of meals in your lifetime. That places a lot of extra stress and strain on the teeth around the missing tooth. And just like your car, you wouldn’t drive your car with only three wheels. You would be putting a lot of extra pressure and strain on that part of the car. It wouldn’t work as well and it wouldn’t function for very long.

Some believe that if the missing tooth can not be seen by others, like your back teeth, then there’s no reason to replace it. Again, not replacing a missing tooth absolutely will have an effect on the other teeth. Your back teeth are designed for chewing and for breaking down the food that you’re putting into your mouth.

What about a bridge?

When you are considering a single tooth replacement or replacing two teeth that are next to each other, a bridge is another option to consider. The problem with bridges is that you’re going to take the tooth in front of the space and the tooth behind the space and enlist them to help replace the missing tooth. And again, that puts a lot of extra wear and tear on those teeth that are now doing not only their job, but the job of the tooth that they’re replacing.

Over time, we found that statistically teeth that are involved in a bridge have a higher rate of requiring a root canal because the nerve of the tooth will eventually die. When the nerve dies, the tooth abscesses and it causes a lot of pain and discomfort to where a root canal or surgery is indicated for that area. And sometimes there is a tooth next to a missing tooth that has never had a cavity before. So we’re doing a very invasive procedure on a tooth that has never had a problem in order to fix the missing tooth.

Another downside is that bridges do not last very long. You can expect them to last last anywhere from five to 10 years. Sometimes you can get 15 years out of it if you’re really, really diligent about taking good care of it. But again, with bridges, you have to learn how to floss differently. And that is a very tedious process. I have a hard time as a dentist getting people to floss their teeth naturally with just floss. When you have to floss a bridge, you have to get floss spreaders, extra equipment, extra costs, extra hassle to get underneath the fake tooth.

With implants, you don’t have any of that. You can brush and floss like normal. And you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck up underneath a bridge when you have a dental implant.

A well-cared-for dental implant has the potential to last for decades. There are really three things that determine how long dental treatment can last. Number one is how well it’s done. Number two is how well it’s taking care of. The third thing that affects how long it lasts is timing. Some dental implants will chew for 25 years and anything longer than that, you’re super lucky and super great at taking care of yourself.

The oral environment is a very tough environment and with the type of foods and drinks that we consume, the changing Ph can make it a very treacherous terrain. How well you take care of a dental implant can also affect how long it lasts.

So, just like a car, it matters how often you bring your car in for service. And your implant will need to come in for service to see how it’s doing and to see if there are any problems that are starting to pop up. That’s why it’s super important to keep up with your dental visits and dental cleanings so that we can inspect your dental implants. You want to treat your dental implant as nice as you treat your car and bring it in for your regular maintenance.

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