Dental Implants: The Permanent Solution to Missing Teeth
Teeth need to last a lifetime, but often they don’t make it that far. Prior to implant restoration, missing teeth were replaced by traditional bridges or dentures. Fortunately, our patients have a better option and can get dental implants in Bedford.
Regular brushing and flossing can maintain a healthy smile in most, but sometimes, our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth, or teeth, dental implants can restore your smile and your oral health permanently.
What are Dental Implants?
Simply put, dental implants are artificial tooth roots. The implants are usually made from titanium, screwed into the jawbone underneath the gums, serving as an anchor for restorations that look and function just like real teeth.
Bridges, or partial dentures, literally bridge the gap in the space created by missing teeth. With traditional bridges, the missing teeth are replaced by pontics (artificial teeth) and then supported by neighboring teeth with crowns.
This type of bridge is the most common procedure to replace missing teeth, but it’s not necessarily the best.
Missing teeth lead to jawbone deterioration, changing the natural shape of your face and jaw. It’s a simple “use it or lose it” principle; when the underlying bone isn’t being used to support teeth and chewing, it loses strength and results in localized calcium loss.
When dental implants are combined with restorative treatments like bridges, the result is a stronger, more stable solution to tooth loss.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
Dental implants are used for patients who are missing one or more teeth. Patients love them because they require no extra maintenance and don’t come out. Your teeth get to stay where they belong — in your mouth!
Compared to traditional bridges, implant restoration is a breeze - they are the “fire and forget” missile of dentistry. Just treat them like normal teeth!
Dental implants may be right for you if your missing teeth:
Cause pain or discomfort
Disrupt natural eating
Affect your appearance
Are treated with traditional bridges or partial dentures
Implants are effective for nearly anyone. If you’re missing one or more teeth, whether due to tooth decay, injury, or disease, implant restoration is a safe choice.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Restored teeth look and function just like natural teeth. They are strong, stable, and no one will know the difference. Just like natural teeth, if you take care of them, they’ll last for a long time.
In fact, dental implants are the best long-term solution for tooth restoration. More than 90 percent of dental implants will go 10 years or more before needing so much as an adjustment. While they still need to be cleaned just like real teeth, your restored teeth aren’t susceptible to cavities!
Implant restoration means that you’ll never have to be embarrassed by missing teeth, slurred speech, or partial dentures coming out. Food choices won’t be determined by whether or not your traditional bridges can cope with your meal. Choose a higher quality of life with implant restoration.
What to Expect With Implant Restoration
If the implant itself is the root, we’ll still need some tooth restoration to go with it. Depending on the circumstance, that restoration might come in the way of a crown, a bridge, or even dentures that are supported by the dental implant.
Implant restoration does take more time than other procedures, and will need multiple visits to complete treatment.
Before we get started, we’ll need to review your medical history and make images or impressions so that we can create perfect models of your teeth and gums. If you don’t already have a temporary restoration in place, we might start there as the process begins.
Our practice teams up with Dr. Hunter, of North Texas Facial and Oral Surgery, to put the dental implant in place.
During this first procedure, titanium implants are attached to the jawbone. An incision is made in the gums where the implant will be placed, followed by a tiny hole in the jaw. Once the implant has been placed, the incision is closed and you’re done with the first part!
After this procedure, there is typically a waiting period of a few months. This time is to allow the bone and implant to fuse together.
The second procedure is quick and straightforward. We simply need to expose the top of the implant and place the abutment, the post which the patient’s restoration is affixed to. An impression is taken and sent to the lab to make the final restoration perfect.
Within a few weeks, the gums will have healed completely and we can cement the final piece in place.
With new artificial roots ready to serve as an anchorpoint, a crown, bridge, or dentures can be attached to form a permanent restoration. After a test fit to make sure everything is exactly how we want it, the restoration will be affixed to the dental implant.
Dr. Marea White is Bedford’s Best for Implant Restoration
Dental implants are predictable, reliable, and help protect your healthy teeth. As dentists in Bedford, we work with dental implants every day– our patients love the results, and they experience minimal discomforts from the process.