Dentistry evolved a long way since wooden dentures were used to replace George Washington’s teeth!
Nowadays, when you are missing one or more teeth, there are a variety of methods to replace them, including removable implants, appliances, and fixed bridges.
Dental implants gained wider and wider acceptance over time as a successful method for replacing missing teeth. They offer a way for artificial teeth to look natural and feel secure.
The implant itself, often made of titanium, is an artificial root to support the false tooth or teeth. The dental surgeon, usually a periodontist (gum specialist) or an oral surgeon, places the implant into a hole made in the jawbone. A post is then secured to this “artificial root” and used to secure a prosthetic device, such as a crown or bridge, above the gum.
Also, these are used in conjunction with a removable denture to create a more secure and stable base for the denture.
Implants have advantages over removable dentures. Since removable dentures are not permanently fixed in place, they can move around when you eat and speak. Over time the bone that supports the denture changes and shrinks, making it increasingly difficult to support a denture comfortably.
They have advantages over fixed bridges, especially when the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth or teeth are healthy. In order to create a fixed bridge, Dr. Shamoiel usually places crowns on these adjacent teeth – as they are support for the replacement tooth or teeth.
If teeth are free from decay and existing restorations, you may prefer to leave them in their natural state, rather than alter them to hold the necessary supporting restorations. Implants replace missing tooth or teeth while leaving all adjacent teeth unaltered.
Implants are highly successful, but the likelihood of success depends on several factors: the amount of bone available to support the implant, the patient’s health, whether or not the patient smokes, and the quality of ongoing home care. These all affect long-term success.
Remember, replacing missing teeth is important to maintaining good dental health. Dr. Shamoiel will evaluate the conditions in your mouth and help you decide if you are a good candidate for implants.