Over the years, I’ve seen many dental advancements in the techniques and materials for replacing natural teeth. I’ve had a strong commitment to staying ahead of the curve, continually expanding my skills in all tooth replacement options. For this, we’ve helped patients experience exceptional results, whether for crown-&-bridge, dental implants, dentures or precision-fitted partials.
While our patients enjoy the benefits of an appealing, confident smile, it is what occurs beneath the gums that is so important. For those who are missing natural teeth, there are a number of reasons I typically recommend dental implants.
To understand how dental implants are different, let’s first examine the structure of natural teeth. Consider that a tooth’s roots are held securely in place by the upper and lower jaw bones. These bones are nourished and stimulated by the presence of natural tooth roots. When a tooth root is missing, that area of bone begins a process known as resorption. As bone resorption continues, the loss of bone mass causes a number of repercussions.
When you lose a tooth that is situated between two other teeth, the bone resorption borders the neighboring tooth roots and weakens the positions of the adjacent natural teeth. It is a fact that when a natural tooth is lost, the next to be lost will most likely be a tooth next to it.
As bone loss continues, the risk for additional tooth loss increases as well. With each tooth lost, the absence of tooth roots sets a domino effect in motion. A shrinking jaw bone may actually be visible through changes in facial appearance, including deep wrinkles around the mouth, a collapsed mouth where the nose becomes closer to the chin, and jowls that form as facial muscles detach from declining bone mass.
Regardless of the tooth replacement option you select, we provide exceptional precision to provide you with the best results. However, we encourage patients to consider two particular advantages of dental implants — their lifespan and one-time expense. In addition to their design as a lifetime solution for replacing teeth, patients can avoid the repairs and/or replacements often needed by other options.
For example, crown-&-bridge combinations offer a natural look and feel for replacing one or several teeth. However, crowns and bridges do have a life and can require replacement. Too, crowning a natural tooth for the sole purpose of supporting a bridge compromises the integrity of an otherwise healthy tooth. Shaving down natural teeth to crown for supporting a bridge is not necessary with dental implants.
The upkeep of a denture or partial can require future costs as well. Dentures and partials are designed to conform to the unique contours of your gum ridge. This ‘ridge’ is the gum-covered arch of upper or lower jaws that once held natural tooth roots. As the bone declines in mass, the fit changes. Many people are also unaware that the pressure of dentures or partials actually accelerates the rate of bone loss.
When the ridge flattens, the once-secure fit of the denture or partial denture loosens. This causes difficulty in eating and can make for embarrassing moments when speaking or laughing. Relines can help on a temporary basis, however, they are unable to provide a stable bite or secure chewing ability.
Since dental implants are held by the jaw bone just as natural tooth roots, they do not need the support of neighboring teeth. Additionally, the implanted portion recreates the presence of a tooth root, halting the progress of bone resorption. And, because dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, they are an excellent investment.
For every patient and every procedure, our goal is to provide the best possible outcome, resulting in a confident smile that looks and feels natural with appearance and function. Regardless of the tooth replacement option you select, knowing the advantages and challenges of each will help you achieve the long term goals you want.
Begin with a private, no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your dental needs. Call 910-254-4555 to schedule.