Dental implants may be the solution. These ingenious restorations have been called “the next best thing to natural,” because they look and function just like real teeth.
Implants are designed to take the place of natural teeth, preserving not only your smile but the underlying structure of your jaw. Without teeth to support it, the jaw can lose bone mass and eventually collapse, leading to a sunken-in appearance. Dental implants can provide this internal support while restoring the outward appearance of your smile.
Implants can replace single teeth, or can be used to strengthen more complex smile restorations, such as bridges and overdentures. A bridge is used to replace three or more teeth, and is either cemented or screwed to the implants. When an entire row of teeth need to be replaced, an overdenture is often used. Like the name implies, this restoration is placed over the implants. Though it snaps into place via attachments on the implants, it is designed to be removable so it can be cleaned at night.
Implant-supported bridges and overdentures are much more stable than their traditional counterparts, allowing patients to speak more normally and enjoy foods they may not have been able to eat before. Patients often report life-changing improvements in fit, comfort and aesthetics.
There are three elements to every implant procedure: First, a titanium rod (the implant itself) is rooted into the jaw. Next, a small screw called an abutment is added. The porcelain crown itself is then attached. It’s made from high-strength porcelain, in a shade and shape that matches your other teeth. Together, the implant, abutment and crown fully replace the missing tooth structure, inside and out. The implant looks and feels so real; many patients forget they’ve lost a tooth.
Dental implants take minimal care to maintain. Though they can’t decay, it’s important to floss thoroughly around the implant to maintain healthy gum tissue.
Interested in learning more about dental implants? Call us for a free consultation. Dr. Files can recommend a treatment plan that will have you eating, speaking and smiling normally for the first time in years.