Tooth loss usually occurs as a result of tooth decay, trauma, or periodontal disease. When one or more permanent teeth are missing, it can produce a displeasing appearance and compromise the integrity of the jawbone. Left untreated, missing teeth can also cause the remaining teeth to shift and affect the functionality of a patient’s bite. Luckily, there are various dental approaches to tooth replacement that can give patients a smile that makes them feel confident. While patients can choose from many treatment options for their missing teeth, dental implants are by far the superior choice.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an advanced and permanent solution for tooth replacement. The implant base is surgically inserted into the jawbone through an incision in the gums, and a customized crown is attached to the post after the area heals completely. The process takes place over a few months, but the effects are worth the wait. These restorations look and behave just like natural teeth and produce optimal results that are intended to last many years.
Benefits of Tooth Replacement With Dental Implants
- Provides long-lasting improvement
- Helps reduce jawbone loss
- Prevents significant tooth shifting
- Restores the appearance of the smile
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
Ideal candidates for dental implants have not experienced jawbone loss in the treatment area, do not use tobacco products, and have healthy gums. Both tobacco use and poor gum health can hinder the healing process and lead to implant failure. It is also essential for the jawbone to be strong enough to support the implant. Pregnant women, people with certain illnesses (i.e., diabetes, connective tissue diseases, hemophilia), and those who have undergone radiation treatment may not qualify for dental implants.
Other Tooth Replacement Options
Some patients may not be the best candidates for dental implants, and some may not want to undergo surgery to replace their missing teeth. At Gentle Care Dentistry, we offer other tooth replacement options for our patients’ cosmetic and functional needs.
A dental bridge is a durable restoration with one or more false teeth that are permanently adhered to the teeth on either side of a gap. The natural teeth are reshaped to create abutments to which the customized bridge is attached. Although bridges do not provide as much support for the jawbone as dental implants, they do help preserve the structure of the teeth and prevent tooth shifting due to having missing teeth.
Patients who are missing several or all of their permanent teeth may want to consider dentures. Dentures are sets of removable false teeth that can produce significant improvement for those who have lost multiple teeth. Depending on how many permanent teeth have fallen out, patients can choose full or partial dentures.
If you would like to see which tooth replacement option is right for you, please schedule an appointment with Gentle Care Dentistry by calling (575) 524-3722 or fill out our online contact form today.