Patients who choose conventional tooth replacements, such as fixed dental bridges or traditional dentures, following tooth loss may find that their appliances lose their fit over time. This can cause patients to lose confidence when smiling because of how they look. Implant dentistry is a good solution for overcoming this challenge.
Dental implants, which are small titanium cylinders that an oral surgeon inserts in a patient’s jaw, replace the absent tooth’s root. That structure plays an important role in the tooth’s – and the smile’s – stability. When it is not replaced, as is true of conventional prosthetics, the jawbone slowly erodes and its shape changes.
This phenomenon of jawbone atrophy causes a bridge or denture to lose its fit. A gap may develop between the appliance and the gumline, or, in the case of dentures, the appliance may repeatedly slip out of place. Patients can become reluctant to speak or smile when this occurs.
Eventually, conventional appliances will need to be replaced due to jawbone atrophy. However, when a patient gets dental implants from an oral surgeon, the appliance can remain in place for decades with proper maintenance.
Another advantage of implant dentistry is the enhanced functionality of the prosthetic. A fixed dental bridge or denture may not be as effective at chewing as natural teeth are, but an implant-supported appliance can tolerate stronger chewing forces. Patients who choose implant dentistry can typically enjoy a wider variety of healthy, nutritious foods in their diet.
Over time, many patients find that the costs of dental implants and traditional tooth replacement methods end up being comparable. Traditional prosthetics have a lower cost upfront but result in additional expenses as they need to be refitted and replaced. Your oral surgeon can give you more detailed information on this aspect of the treatment, as well.
Are you considering how to proceed with replacing a missing tooth? Are you fed up with a previous treatment that no longer meets your needs? Consider dental implants as an alternative, and schedule a consultation at our office to get back your confident smile.