Everyone’s smile changes with the passage of time and people can begin to look less youthful. Sometimes, changes in a smile can be the result of losing teeth. It is possible to lose teeth from infection, fractures, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. In times past, the only way to replace a missing tooth/teeth was to fit the patient with some type of dentures or dental bridge. Now, though, dental implants allow a dentist to restore the patient’s smile and some of their youthful looks.
What Dental Implant Options Are There?
Like many aspects of dentistry, dental implants are customized for each patient. Treatment usually varies according to the number of teeth that are missing and according to the amount and quality of bone that is available. Here are some situations where dental implants are used:
1. Replace one missing tooth. Using an implant to replace one missing tooth is a quick and easy procedure provided there is sufficient bone available. There was a time when a missing tooth meant the patient had to wear a flipper, which is a removable appliance, or parts of the structure of other teeth would have to be removed to accommodate dental crowns or fixed bridges.
While the bridge is considered an effective solution, this treatment has the potential to compromise nearby teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, because it is difficult to clean around and underneath a bridge, there is a question concerning the longevity of this treatment.
In contrast, an implanted tooth can last for life provided it is properly cared for. But, best of all, a dental implant looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
2. Replace several missing teeth. It is possible to use dental implants as a fixed bridge to replace multiple missing teeth. This solution provides great stability and has no adverse affect whatsoever on the patient’s natural teeth.
3. Replace all of the teeth. Previously, the only way to restore all missing teeth was to provide the patient with dentures that fitted into implants. However, more updated methods mean that implants can restore the natural appearance and function of teeth. Generally, four implants are placed at strategic locations and then a full set of teeth is attached to these implants.
People are not so self-confident and smile less when they have missing teeth. So dental implants are an excellent way of restoring confidence and a beautiful smile. Consult with a dentist like Timothy G Mahoney DDS to learn more about implants and if you qualify for one.Learn More