Dental implants have transformed the way that people handle tooth loss. These long lasting and biocompatible replacement teeth can makeover a smile ravaged by tooth loss. Not only will dental implants and the prosthetics they hold make a smile beautiful again, they will function just like healthy, biological teeth. Our practice wants to give members of our community as many treatment options as possible, and when it comes to tooth loss, dental implants can greatly improve the quality of life for those suffering with an incomplete smile.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant is a titanium prosthetic. Its structure is somewhat like a screw since it has a ridged outer surface and gradually becomes wider on one end. It is surgically placed in the jawbone so that over time (once it is stabilized by bone) it can durably hold a prosthetic like a dental crown or bridge.
Other tooth replacement options like bridges or dentures have limitations. While they can successfully replace the structures of visible teeth, they tend to require frequent repair and replacement because they do not address the loss of the roots of teeth. This is because the jawbone will atrophy when unstimulated and inactive.
Bone atrophy will change the shape of the jaws, which is the structure that dentures and bridges depend on for support. Fortunately, placing a biocompatible implant in the jawbone prevents bone atrophy. Additionally, having the bone support of a dental implant means that a dental implant can serve as a sturdy base for restorations that replace the biting surfaces of teeth.
Benefits of Implant Dentistry
Implant dentistry presents great benefits to patients. Dental implants provide a sturdy and long lasting alternative to biological teeth that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. The base of a dental implant gives restorations and prosthetics an unprecedented level of support so that food can be eaten comfortably and easily. In addition to restoring oral function, implants support the entire oral health system by preventing bone atrophy and by keeping neighboring teeth from sliding into unhealthy positions.
Once dental implants are stabilized, they are very low maintenance. For instance, dental implants do not require overnight soaking, sticky adhesives or special cleansing solutions. Instead, dental implants are brushed and flossed naturally with the rest of a person’s biological teeth.
Tooth loss is devastating. Fortunately, patients do have options that can accommodate their needs for comfortable oral function and a restored appearance. Dental implants are a wonderful method of replacing lost teeth.
If you are interested in tooth replacement options, call our office at 847-519-1711 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Diehnelt!
Dental implants are titanium prosthetics used to replace the root systems of teeth. An implant resembles a small screw and is placed into the jawbone. Once the implant becomes stable, it can hold permanent restorations like crowns and prosthetics like dental bridges. A single implant can replace one tooth by holding a crown or two to four teeth by holding a bridge. Sometimes a series of dental implants are embedded into the jaw so that a full arch of prosthetics (dentures) can be supported.
An oral examination is necessary to determine if a person is a candidate for dental implants. Examinations are necessary because diagnostic imaging will reveal whether there is enough bone mass to support the titanium implant. Candidates for dental implants should be completely free from active gum disease, non-smokers, and committed to practicing proper oral hygiene and receiving routine dental care on a regular basis. If you want to find out if dental implants are right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Diehnelt.
A patient’s tooth replacement costs can vary depending on the amount of teeth being replaced, whether preliminary treatments like tooth extractions and bone grafts are needed, and the type of materials chosen for the restorations that attach to implants. Another factor in cost is whether a person’s dental insurance covers dental implants for tooth replacement. Since a person’s costs can vary, it is best to receive an estimate from our practice after your consultation.
Dental implants and bridges both fill in the visible structures of teeth but beyond that, the way they function differs significantly. A bridge literally bridges the gap between biological teeth. It anchors to existing teeth and fills in the visible portions of missing teeth with a row of dental crowns. Dental implants, on the other hand, do not anchor to existing teeth and replace more than just visible tooth structure. Implants are supported by the jawbone. They are surgically embedded into the jaw and over time, the bone will fuse around the implant to hold it in place. Then, once bone has stabilized the implant, a custom restoration like a dental crown or bridge is secured to the implant by an abutment to complete the tooth replacement process.