A dental implant is a fixed (non-removable) treatment option used to replace a missing tooth or teeth and is an alternative to a dental bridgeor denture. Of all the ways to replace missing teeth, dental implants look and feel the most like natural teeth while also being strong, safe, and durable. We understand that having a dental implant placed may not exactly sound like a walk in the park, but dental implants are actually able to placed comfortably and efficiently with today’s advanced techniques and technology.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REPLACE MISSING TEETH?
At Family Roots Dentistry, we like to think of teeth like books on a bookshelf. If you remove a book and do not replace it, the other books will tip and shift around. Similarly, when a tooth is removed and not replaced, the remaining teeth can tip and shift around. When teeth shift out of their normal position, this puts you at an increased risk for gum disease and bone loss as well as cavities. Teeth shifting can also cause an imbalance with your jaw joints, leading to discomfort as well as premature ‘wear and tear’ on your remaining teeth (including chipping or breaking teeth).
WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
A tooth is made up of a crown (part of the tooth above the gums) and a root (part of the tooth below the gums). Similarly, a dental implant has 3 different parts to closely mimic the crown and root of a tooth:
Implant: small, titanium component that resembles the shape and size of a root
Below the gums
The implant is like the foundation to a house.
Abutment: connector that fits onto the implant and supports a crown
Above the gums
The abutment is like the walls to a house.
Crown: made of strong, esthetic materials such as porcelain that look and function just like the crown of your natural tooth
Above the gums
The crown is like the roof to a house.
WHAT ARE REASONS WHY A DENTAL IMPLANT WOULD BE RECOMMENDED?
Function, feel, and look like natural teeth
Long-term solution: often last a lifetime, with proper home care and maintenance
Conservative: replaces the space from one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
Prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position
Restore chewing and speaking ability that can become impaired when a tooth is lost
Restore your smile
Maintain facial shape that can become compromised when a tooth is lost
Support a bridge or denture to replace multiple missing teeth, making them more secure and comfortable
For more information or to find out if dental implants might be the right treatment option for you, please call us at (815) 385-4411 or contact us here.