In today’s world, crowns and bridges made on dental implants should look and feel like your own teeth. Dental implants are a routine part of modern dentistry – no longer considered “experimental” or even “new.” The have revolutionized dentistry, and now they are tried and true.
Studies have found that the success rate for today’s dental implants is as high as 98 percent, with no or little discernable bone loss.
In the hands of a properly trained and skilled specialized dentist they are a safe, predictable and most often preferred alternative to old-fashioned bridges and dentures.
Placed in your jawbone, the implant (a titanium screw post) replaces the root of the missing tooth and fuses with the bone in a process called “osseointegration.” The implant is then fitted with a replacement tooth. Multiple implants can also be used to support a permanent bridge (replacing several missing teeth) which is cemented or screwed into the implants.
Today’s implants are not susceptible to periodontal disease or tooth decay – the processes that cause breakdown and loss of natural teeth. They are considered permanent – and in most cases can last a lifetime.
In traditional fixed bridges, the teeth adjacent to a missing tooth were ground down and covered with crowns in order to support the false tooth (pontic) in between them. A dental implant used to replace a missing tooth is a more conservative, less invasive, more durable and more natural and comfortable alternative.
With a single-tooth implant replacement, your own teeth remain completely untouched and unharmed.
And there is good news for denture wearers; even complete dentures can now be supported by implants in what is called an overdenture. The advantage of an implant-supported overdenture is that it is completely stable, with no slipping, no rocking and no falling out. Speaking and chewing are unaffected.
With an implant-supported denture or fixed bridge, there is no longer any need to use adhesives or to be concerned about teeth that move.
Implants improve your appearance, your speech, the ability to enjoy your favorite foods, your comfort and your self-esteem.
It’s more than enough to make you smile.
Dental implants can now be used to support removable dentures.
Denture wearers have long suffered the embarrassment, pain and inconvenience of loose or ill-fitting dentures. Some patients who have been without their own natural teeth for many years have had changes in the jaw bones that make it impossible to have dentures that can stay in the mouth with any security. This is especially true for the lower jaw.
Today, it is considered the standard of care to have at least two dental implants inserted into the jawbone in order to support a denture. (See fig.’s 1 and 2 below) This is called an Implant-Supported Over-Denture. The implants are placed into the jawbone and then snap-like anchors are inserted into the implants and into the denture. Once attached, the denture snaps firmly into place in the mouth but can still be removed by the patient for cleaning.
This technique has truly changed people’s lives. Research has proven that denture patients who have had implants added in order to support their dentures are much more likely to be well nourished and far more apt to be socially active. Confidence levels soar and emotional health is restored by this simple and relatively inexpensive procedure.