If you are missing one or more teeth, you're not alone. Many Americans have missing teeth from trauma, poor oral hygiene and many other reasons. Regardless, it still likely affects your self-confidence and esteem.
Luckily, thanks to continuing advancements in dentistry, there are many ways to replace missing teeth, and at Joseph M. Perry, D.D.S., P.A., we offer dental implants, one of the best options for missing teeth. If you are ready to have a more beautiful smile, check out these facts you should know about dental implants.
Use the Jawbone for Support
Natural teeth are durable because they use the jawbone for support. Plus, ligaments hold the teeth in place, allowing them to withstand daily wear and tear from grinding and eating.
Dental bridges and dentures are incapable of using the jawbone for support, but dental implants do. The titanium implant is like an artificial tooth root. Like a real tooth root, it sits in the jawbone. Of course, there are not ligaments to hold the implant, but overtime, the jawbone fuses to the titanium implant to solidify the hold.
Replace One or More Missing Teeth
If you are missing one or two teeth, a single dental implant is a great choice because it replaces one tooth. However, if you are missing a lot of teeth, multiple single dental implants may not be cost effective.
Instead, consider an implant-supported bridge; it works like a traditional bridge, but it uses titanium implants instead of healthy teeth to secure the bridge. This process makes them more durable than traditional bridges.
If you're missing an entire row (or both rows) of teeth, implant-supported dentures may be the better choice; they use implants to secure the dentures, but you can remove the dentures for easy cleaning.
Process Is Long and May Involve Multiple Procedures
Dentures and dental bridges take time to craft, but the dental implant process is much longer, and depending on your oral health, other procedures may be necessary.
If your jawbone isn't strong enough, the dentist may need to perform a bone graft to strengthen the jawbone, giving it the volume it needs to support the implant. Once this heals, the titanium plant can be placed, but you'll have to wait for the gums and implant to heal before the implant's crown can be placed.
Poor Oral Hygiene Increases the Risk of Implant Failure
Dental implants are durable, and with proper care, you may never even need to replace yours. As an added bonus, you don't need to worry about the implant falling victim to decay. It's still incredibly important to keep your teeth, gums and tongue clean to prevent peri-implant disease, which is basically gum disease around an implant.
At first, the condition may be mild with little symptoms, including tender, swollen gums. This is known as peri-implant mucositis, but if left untreated, it can advance to peri-implantitis. At this point, the risk of losing the implant increases because the jawbone is also affected.
Insurance May Pay Some of the Cost
Dental implants are expensive, especially if you need additional procedures, but they are an investment in your smile, and insurance may pay some of the cost. Most insurance carriers won't cover the cost of the "dental implant," but they may cover the cost of other procedures, such as the extraction. This assistance can help ease some of the financial burden.
Dental implants are an ideal way to replace missing teeth; they don't damage healthy teeth, and they use the jawbone for support. If you believe dental implants may be the right choice for you, give our office a call today to schedule an appointment with Joseph M. Perry, D.D.S., P.A.