Whether a traumatic accident knocked out a tooth or two, or you lost a few to gum disease and decay, ignoring the space they left behind is not an option. Missing teeth can lead to a long list of oral and overall health problems you can easily avoid by replacing them.
Fortunately, you have several options when it comes to filling the gap, including dentures, bridges, and dental implants.
We offer all these treatments and more at our state-of-the-art TLN Family Dental offices in Houston and Pearland, Texas. Here, our team of experienced experts explain the benefits of dental implants and why they have become the gold standard for tooth replacement.
Considering the fact that more than 120 million Americans are missing one or more teeth, it’s easy to assume that tooth loss is normal and even inevitable — but it’s neither. Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime if you take care of them properly.
That’s the ideal, but the reality is that people lose teeth for many reasons. Gum disease and tooth decay are common, as are cancer and traumatic injuries, such as auto accidents. Even daily wear-and-tear from chewing can grind teeth down over time and eventually lead to tooth loss.
For many years, the only options for replacing missing teeth were dentures or bridges. Today, dental implants provide a better option.
Dentures and bridges fill in the gap left by a missing tooth, but dental implants replace the part of your tooth those other treatments don’t — the tooth root. We surgically implant a titanium post into your jawbone, which serves as a foundation for an artificial tooth. We place an abutment (a small connecting device) on top of the post and attach a crown to it.
Dental implants aren’t only the best solution for a single missing tooth; they also replace several missing teeth at one time. In this case, we implant a post on each end of the gap and use a dental bridge — artificial teeth fabricated together as one unit. The difference between a row of dental implants and a traditional bridge is that the implanted posts are permanently anchored in place, offering stability you can’t get with other tooth replacement options.
Bonus: Every bite you take and every meal you chew applies pressure to the implanted post, which stimulates the blood vessels to deliver nutrients to your jawbone tissue just as your natural tooth roots do. This is the main factor that sets dental implants apart from the other tooth replacement options — it prevents bone loss.
When you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, your self-confidence takes a hit. You may keep your mouth closed when you smile, or worse, you may stop smiling altogether. Although dentures and bridges can give you the appearance of a full set of teeth, they are more easily detectable as fake than dental implants. With a dental implant, it’s difficult to tell your artificial tooth from the real thing.
Dental implants also have the advantage of secure anchoring in your jawbone, so they work just like your natural teeth. and there’s no slipping appliance to worry about as there is with dentures. That means you can eat and speak confidently, and take a big bite of an apple, a cob of corn, or a steak without fear.
Finally, dental implants last longer than your other tooth replacement options. That means if you choose dental implants, you never have to undergo the procedure again, which is what thrills our patients most.
Durability, realism, stability, and bone loss prevention all contribute to the popularity of dental implants, which is why as many as 98% of people who get dental implants are happy with the result.
We start by taking X-rays to determine the best location for your implant. We also test your jawbone density to make sure it’s strong enough for the implant. If it isn’t, you may need a bone graft before the implant.
Next, we implant the titanium post during a surgical procedure. It takes a few months for the site to heal and for the post to fuse to your bone. Finally, we attach the crown to the abutment, and you’re good to go for the rest of your life.
To find out more about dental implants, dentures, bridges or other restorative or cosmetic treatments, call our friendly staff at TLN Family Dental, or book an appointment online today. We’re happy to answer all your questions.