If for some reason you are missing a tooth or more, you have a few options. Some options include a bridge, full dentures, or partial dentures. You may also consider asking your dentist if you are a good candidate for dental implants. More and more people are opting for implants over dentures because they provide a more natural replacement for teeth. Unlike dentures, they are attached directly to the jawbone. Ideal candidates for implants are in good health and have healthy gums. You’ll also need a strong jawbone to be able to support the implants.
What do they look like?
One of the primary reasons patients opt for implants is because they look more like their natural teeth. The actual implant looks like a screw. It is attached to the jawbone to provide a replacement for the root of the tooth you are missing. These metal posts are made from titanium in most cases since it is unlikely to cause an adverse reaction when it’s attached to the jawbone and comes in contact with the gums.
The Procedure for Placing Dental Implants
You can discuss the possibility of the implant procedure with Dr. Spieler who can help you determine if you are a good candidate. Once it is determined that you are a good candidate, the procedure can be scheduled. In most cases, it can be done in the dentist’s office where you’ll be placed under local anesthesia. The process may take multiple visits to the dental office in Bala Cynwyd, PA. There are three basic phases including:
- Placing Implants. First off, the implant is surgically placed in the jaw and then covered with gum tissue so it can integrate and grow into the jawbone. It can take anywhere from three to six months for it to heal completely.
- Attaching the Post. Once the implant has healed, the post will be attached to it. The gum tissue will grow around it. Dr. Spieler can often do both of these steps at the same time. Whether it is accomplished in one or two steps, once they are both placed, they will serve as an anchor for the prosthetic or replacement tooth.
- Attaching the Crown. After the area has healed, the dentist will attach a custom crown to the post.
Should I Opt for Dental Implants Over Dentures?
There are many advantages to implants that can make them more desirable than dentures. Some of the main benefits of choosing them include:
- More Natural options. Implants will feel most like your natural teeth so you’ll be able to eat and talk more naturally. They really are the next best thing to your natural teeth.
- Long-Term Solution. Dental implants have a better long term track record than other solutions such as bridges which usually only last up to 10 years. A traditional bridge will certainly have to be replaced at some point. However, implants can last a lifetime with proper care.
- Protect the Jaw and Face. When you lose a tooth it can cause other problems like deterioration of the bones in the face and jaw. The bone can lose its shape and strength when it’s not functioning as normal. When removable dentures are worn, the bone deterioration is accelerated. Implants preserve and stimulate natural bone and prevent bone loss due to missing teeth.
Who shouldn’t consider implants?
There are some situations when implants are not ideal. For instance, women who are pregnant should not consider the procedure until they have had the baby and recovered. Someone who has a chronic illness they are dealing with or those with immunosuppression. These kinds of patients would be at an increased risk of developing an infection during surgery and it would be too risky. Children are not good candidates either as their jawbones are still developing. If you clench or grind your teeth, talk to a dentist at Oasis Dental to see if implants are a good fit for you. When you grind your teeth, it puts too much pressure on implants and your dentist can help you determine if they are right for you.
Contact Dr. Spieler at Oasis Dental
If you are missing one or more teeth, discuss your situation, your dental health, and your overall health with Dr. Spieler. He can help you determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants or if another option would be best for you. Contact us today with your questions and concerns.