According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of American adults have a complete set of permanent teeth, not including wisdom teeth. Tooth loss also increases as you get older. There’s little comfort in statistics when you’re dealing with tooth loss though the common nature of the condition means there’s demand for tooth replacement systems.
For centuries, the solution was dentures, a technology that’s still in common use today. Dental bridges are another option, but like dentures and partial plates, bridges replace only the crown of a missing natural tooth. Older technologies don’t replace a tooth root.
For that, we turn to dental implants. This three-part system is the strongest and longest-lasting tooth replacement method, fast establishing itself as the new standard of care. Dr. Ben Mohrman and the team at Affordable Dental East in Indianapolis, Indiana, specialize in dental implants, so we understand the questions that our patients have. Today, we answer five of the most common concerns.
Dental implant systems closely mimic the appearance, function, and structure of natural teeth. Unlike dentures and bridges, which replace only the crown of a lost tooth, implants stand in for both root and crown. Each implant consists of three parts to replace a lost tooth:
Dental implants are flexible. They provide one-on-one replacement and bridge replacement spans. They can even provide snap-on posts to support denture plates.
Porcelain and ceramic crowns have a long history providing look-alike stand-ins for natural teeth. Dental implants use these same materials for the visual portion of your teeth. The abutment and post are hidden beneath the gums. Implants provide perhaps the most natural appearance of any tooth replacement method.
The quick answer is yes, but it affects your jaw in a good way. A natural tooth moves a little when you bite or chew, stimulating the jawbone. This interaction keeps bone tissue fresh and healthy. Dentures can’t replace this stimulation, and that can lead to deterioration of bone over time. It’s one reason why the fit of dentures changes frequently. Implants mesh with bone tissue, a process called osseointegration, and stimulates bone renewal much like natural teeth.
Once your mouth heals from implant surgery, there’s little change to your dental care routine. You brush and floss the same as you did with dental checkups every six months. With proper care, dental implants could last 25 years or longer.
The surgery to implant the post takes a single appointment. Other factors may affect your situation. Some patients need bone grafts to the jaw that must heal before implanting a post. Traditionally, there’s a waiting period as the post osseointegrates with the jaw, before an abutment and crown can be placed. Implant technology evolves, and there are systems that permit same-day implants in certain cases.
Contact Affordable Dental East to find out more and learn which approach is right for you. You can schedule your appointment by phone or on our website. Book your visit today.