Dental implants are the best option available for replacing a missing tooth or teeth due to their versatility. Different types of dental implants can easily be modified to meet your particular needs. Dental implants are a permanent replacement option for those who want long term results. As technology advances, the dental community has found new, innovative ways to use dental implants in a variety of scenarios.
At the Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Bethesda, Maryland we use dental implants for our patients. We give them the confidence to smile, talk, and chew without the fear that other replacement options leave behind. Our methods are on the cutting edge of technology and we are now able to help more patients than ever before.
Single tooth dental implants are among the most common. Your dentist will examine your teeth and jaw bone using x-rays to check your viability as a dental implant candidate. Once they have determined that a dental implant is a good option for you then they will begin the procedure. The first step when installing the implant is to insert a titanium screw directly into your jaw bone. This screw will act as the root of your artificial tooth and prevent any future inevitable bone loss in your jaw. Once the screw has healed into your jaw bone, a dental crown will be attached. The crown will act as your new tooth. It will look, feel, and function just like your other natural teeth. You’ll also need to care for it just like your other natural teeth.
If you have multiple missing teeth then your dentist may suggest a variety of options. One common option for this scenario is to get a fixed bridge that is anchored with dental implants. Traditional bridges rely on healthy neighboring teeth for support. This places stress on these supporting teeth and can cause problems in the future. By using a bridge that is supported by dental implants you eliminate the stress on neighboring teeth. The dental implants will be installed, much like with a single implant. Your dentist may attach a temporary bridge while your jaw bone heals and fuses to the implants. Once healed, your dentist will attach the permanent bridge. The dental implants will fully support the bridge and it will function, look, and feel like your natural teeth.
Dental implants can still help patients who require more extensive tooth replacement. In the event that you would need full arch replacement the dentist will once again ensure that you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. The number of implants will vary depending on any damage or loss to your jaw bone. Most commonly, at least five implants are used to support full arch replacement. The dentist will install these implants to replace the lost tooth roots. Temporary teeth will be attached while your jaw bone heals. This will allow you to eat and speak during the healing process. Once healed, your dentist will securely attach the full bridge of dental implants. This can take multiple visits to ensure proper installation. Once installed, your new dental implants will still act as your natural teeth. The implants themselves will help stimulate your jaw bone to prevent any additional bone loss.
Many patients prefer the options of dental implants over removable dentures when it comes to full arch replacement. This is primarily because they will no longer have to worry about dentures slipping or moving during talking or eating activities. With dental implants the full arch replacement will be securely anchored in place. Another benefit to implants over dentures is that the implants will continue to stimulate the jaw bone much like the natural roots of your teeth. Without this stimulation you will continue to experience bone loss.
Continued bone loss in your jaw means that your mouth will continue to change. You will need to have your dentures redone multiple times over the remainder of your life. The bone loss can also change your facial structure. You may notice changes around your cheeks and jaw as the bone slowly deteriorates. It will no longer be able to provide the same support that it once did and your facial features will change. Dental implants can prevent these things from happening. While you may still experience slight bone loss in areas that don’t have an implant, it will be much less significant than you would see otherwise. The implant locations are chosen very carefully to ensure the preservation of as much bone as possible. This will provide additional security to your fixed full arch bridge and stimulate your jaw bone.
If you’re interested in using implants as a replacement for a missing tooth or teeth then the first step is to consult your dentist. They will begin the evaluation process to determine which implant option is going to be best for you and your specific situation.