Do You Need Dental Implants? 2 Common Implants and How They Work
Do You Need an Implant?
Tooth loss can have many different causes, such as:
- Gum disease
- Deep cavities
- Irreparable tooth damage
- An unsuccessful root canal
Regardless of the cause, tooth loss will leave a gap where your tooth used to be. Dental implants serve as a root system for artificial teeth, thus filling any gaps caused by tooth loss. Many patients hope to fill these gaps for cosmetic purposes, to restore their smile and increase their confidence. However, many patients don’t realize that these gaps are more than just a cosmetic concern.
Not Having Missing Teeth Addressed
The loss of a tooth quickly triggers a chain of events in the affected mouth. The teeth on either side of this empty space in your gums will react, and the roots of these teeth will begin to spread into this empty area. This weakens the surviving teeth, as their root system is being stretched thin. Now these teeth will be more vulnerable to falling out, as well.
The teeth on either side of the empty space can also start to migrate and loosen as they attempt to fill this area. This leads to teeth that end up misplaced or tilted to the side. The loss of a tooth also affects the space above or below the missing tooth area. The tooth that used to “meet” together with the lost tooth may begin to grow, seeking to make contact with a tooth that is no longer there.
Consider an Implant Before You Lose Teeth
Rather than waiting until there is tooth loss and risking issues such as tooth migration, you may want to consider an implant before the tooth is lost. If you have pre-existing dental issues that are likely to lead to tooth loss in the future, loose or brittle teeth, or a cavity that has reached the pulp of your tooth, an implant can help you address the issue right away, rather than having to hurry and search for a solution after you’ve already lost the tooth.
By acting early, your dentist will be able to thoroughly discuss your options with you at a relaxed pace. You and your dentist can examine your teeth and jaw to determine which teeth qualify for an implant, and what kind of implant would be the best solution for you. To help get you started, let’s take a look at the different implants you may qualify for.
1. Endosteal Implant
An endosteal implant is the most common kind of implant. This titanium implant is anchored by the jaw and will be inserted underneath the gums of where your missing tooth was. Osseointegration will then begin, as your jawbone merges with the implant to create a strong base for your replacement tooth or teeth. This serves as a permanent, artificial root system, as the implant is shaped like a small screw to hold a new false tooth in place.
What Can You Expect From an Endosteal Implant?
This implant is made of titanium, so it is completely resistant to rot or decay. After you have either lost your tooth naturally or had a diseased tooth removed, the implant will allow you to replace the gap left behind from the missing tooth with a new tooth. This allows your mouth to look and feel whole and natural. The artificial tooth will be able to be tended to the same way you care for your natural teeth.
Are You a Good Candidate for an Endosteal Implant?
While a consultation will give us a better idea of whether or not an endosteal implant is the right choice for you, there are some factors to consider as you weigh your options. An endosteal implant will require that your jaw bone be strong and have enough material for the implant to grip onto. We will also take your overall gum health into consideration as you consider an endosteal implant.
2. Subperiosteal Implant
When patients do not have the jaw bone strength or material to sustain an endosteal implant, a subperiosteal implant may be considered instead. Calcium deficiencies, age, and thyroid imbalanced can all play a role in jaw bone deterioration. Instead of anchoring to the jawbone, the framework for a subperiosteal implant lies on top of the jawbone instead. It is placed between the gum and jawbone.
What Can You Expect from a Subperiosteal Implant?
As with endosteal implants, a subperiosteal implant will allow replacement teeth to fill areas of tooth loss. This implant may be composed of surgical vitallium, chrome, cobalt, and molybdenum.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Subperiosteal Implant?
For patients with weakened jaws who still want to pursue a permanent solution to their tooth loss, a subperiosteal implant may be worth your consideration. It can be especially helpful for those who have suffered extensive loss of their posterior teeth.
How Do Dental Implants Compare to the Alternatives?
Dental implants offer a natural look and easy care, all without having to deal with any diet limitations or risk of them falling out. You may be wondering how implants compare to their alternatives. Our talented team at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry does offer several alternatives to implants and are happy to help you compare the different treatment options.
A Fixed Bridge
Before implants were as common as they are today, a fixed bridge was considered the go-to solution when it came to a permanent fix for missing teeth. The traditional bridge of fused porcelain and metal is still the most common and popular option. This bridge will utilize anchoring teeth on either side of the empty gap. Each of the two anchoring teeth will receive a crown which will connect them to one or more artificial teeth to fill this gap and create a seamless smile.
The process can be completed in two visits, but it may require more in some cases. First, the anchoring teeth will be numbed and have some of their enamel removed to make fitting a crown possible. After a mold of the anchoring teeth are sent out to have your bridge completed, you’ll often be given a temporary bridge to wear as you wait for your permanent bridge. When your permanent bridge is ready, it will then be cemented. Along every step of the way, you will be given care and instructions to help you get the most out of your fixed bridge.
How Does a Fixed Bridge Compare to an Implant?
A fixed bridge may eventually need to receive maintenance or be replaced. Alternatively, implants are considered permanent and are designed to not need any significant upkeep or consideration.
Complete or Partial Dentures
Dentures are a removable option for tooth replacement. Both complete and partial dentures are available. Complete dentures serve as a replacement for all of a patient’s original teeth. Some patients wearing dentures feel even better about how straight and bright their smile looks than before dentures were necessary. Far from looking artificial, full dentures are made to look real and appealing.
Partial dentures replace gaps in a patient’s smile and are customized to seamlessly match your natural teeth as much as possible. Partial dentures will also serve the important purpose of protecting your remaining natural teeth by preventing them from shifting into the missing tooth areas.
Conventional dentures are made after your teeth have either been lost or removed. Immediate dentures are made in advance before the teeth are removed. This allows the patients to have something to replace their lost teeth immediately, although immediate dentures are more likely to need future adjustments.
How Do Dentures Compare to an Implant?
As with fixed bridges, while they are durable, dentures may also need to undergo some adjustments and repairs over time. Unlike implants, dentures will require some dietary restrictions. Patients with dentures are often encouraged to avoid hard foods such as apples, carrot sticks, nuts, or popcorn. Corn on the cob or tougher meats are also best to be avoided.
While a good dentist will ensure your denture is properly fitted and as comfortable as possible, sore spots can sometimes develop between dentures and your gums, especially if you are eating foods that require a good bit of chewing. As the age, dentures are more likely to become loose, which is when you can expect to need a repair or replacement. Implants will not require replacement.
Implants and Dentures Can Be Used Together
Uncomfortable dentures can be distracting, irritating, and discouraging. Implant-supported dentures will prevent your dentures from shifting in your mouth by providing them with lasting support and structure. While the implants themselves are permanent, the dentures can still be removed and cared for nightly. This is a flexible option for patients who want to work with their dentures instead of replacing all of their missing teeth with false teeth.
Additionally, supporting your dentures with an implant will negate the need for dietary restrictions, so you can go back to enjoying your favorite treats.
How to Set Up a Consultation
A consultation will allow us to further discuss your options and address any and all questions you may have. Our “Contact” page on our website allows you to send us an appointment request, in which you can explain what your needs are. If you’d prefer, you can also call our number as well. From consultation to treatment and recovery, we will be there with you every step of the way offering professional and compassionate support and advice.
If you are new to us at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry, welcome! We have a “New Patient Registration” tab right at the top of our website.
Are You Ready for a Lasting Smile?
Both of our offices are known not only for their extensive experience and qualifications but also for their warm and caring demeanors. We use cutting edge technology to give you the best care available. With the 3D models provided by our cone-beam imaging technology, we can work with incredible precision in the installation of your dental implants.
If you’re ready for a smile that will last a lifetime, contact us today at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry, in Champions Gate and Winter Haven, Florida. We can’t wait to help you enjoy the smile you deserve.