Nobody wants to lose a tooth. This isn’t a new problem. Archeologists have found skeletons from ancient Mayan and Egyptian civilizations that had “dental implants” made of shells and gold that were carved into the shape of teeth and surgically placed into the jaw. Many people have heard of George Washington having had wooden teeth (actually he had partial dentures made with cow teeth and ivory). Eventually, dentists started making removable partials and dentures out of metal and acrylic, followed by permanent “bridges” made of metal and porcelain.
The best way to describe partials, dentures, and bridges are that they are a better alternative to having missing teeth- they are not replacing teeth. Partials, dentures and bridges replace only the crown of a tooth, not the “foundation” (root), and they do it by using neighboring teeth for support. The problem with this is that teeth are designed with enough foundation to support themselves, not necessarily themselves and their neighbors. Asking remaining teeth for support will, over time, result in more time at the dentist office and more money spent to fix problems.
What about an option to actually REPLACE teeth? That option is affordable dental implants! Implants have become the gold standard for repairing an area that has lost teeth because it actually replaces the tooth that was lost and saves you money in the long run. The actual dental implant is a titanium “root” that is placed in the area where the tooth’s root used to be. After healing, that implant can support a crown, a bridge, partial or full dentures- and all without the risk of damaging the natural teeth in your mouth.
There’s a reason dental implants are the gold standard.
Aesthetically, they look just like a healthy tooth, but they also keep the jaw bone stable. In areas where teeth are missing, the jaw bone will disappear over time- this can lead to functional problems, such as there not being support to place a dental implant or support a denture in the future, as well as facial aesthetic problems. The jaw bone is what supports your cheeks and the loss of it can lead to small changes, such as deepening of lines in the face, or ultimately- bitter beer face!
Dental implants allow you to maintain your “chewing efficiency.” Some foods, like nuts fresh fruits or vegetables can be very difficult to eat with dentures or partials. This lack of nutrition can be life changing. Dentures and partial dentures supported by implants can help restore the ability to eat these types of food.
They are easier to care for. Unlike bridges, implant supported teeth can be cleaned the same way as natural teeth- with a toothbrush and floss. Bridges require different tools to be cared for correctly.
Studies show that a dental implant has the highest rate of success of any dental procedure, but care must be taken to ensure that the area the implant is to be placed is in an area in good health. To schedule a consult with us at Thomas L. Anderson DDS and Associates to let us help you. Or to learn more about your restoration options go to Restore.