Have you put off replacing a missing tooth? One of the primary consequences of not replacing a missing tooth in a timely manner is the shifting of adjacent teeth. In other words, the neighboring teeth on either side of the missing tooth will naturally drift towards the open gap over time. This can be problematic if you want a dental implant but there is limited space for it to fit. Don’t worry; it doesn’t mean you can’t get a dental implant and regain a stable and natural-looking tooth. You just may need to undergo orthodontic treatment prior to implant placement.
While modern dental implants, such as the All-on-4 implant system, have drastically streamlined the process, most patients who undergo traditional implant placement will experience three separate procedure steps. These may be broken up into 2 to 3 appointments depending on the type of implant you choose as well as your specific clinical needs.
To understand the 3-step process of getting dental implants, it is best to first learn about the three basic components of a dental implant. Working from the bottom to the top, there is the implant itself, the abutment and an implant restoration (artificial tooth).
Not everyone has a complete smile of natural teeth. Many people have a combination of real teeth and dental implants. So what does that mean for teeth whitening? Can you still whiten your smile if you have prosthetic teeth next to natural teeth?
While prosthetic teeth can look and function much the same as natural teeth, they are not made from the same substances. Therefore, crowns, bridges and partials that are supported by dental implants will not react the same way to teeth whitening as your natural teeth.
Traditional whitening treatments do not work on porcelain or bonding materials, which means you can not lighten their color like you do your real teeth. Once the color has been established, it is there to stay. Color matching, however, can be precise and customized to meet your goals before the fake tooth or teeth is placed in your mouth.
A normal adult mouth consists of 32 teeth. Unfortunately, these teeth don’t always stay in place. Whether due to severe infection, decay, accidental trauma or other factors, teeth can go missing. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, “More than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth.”
The good news is that there are restorative dentistry options that can replace missing teeth, whether you have a single missing tooth or a full mouth of missing teeth. Dental implants top the list when it comes to replacement options. Since dental implants are a notable investment and they require an oral surgery, many people shy away from this option and may avoid replacing their missing teeth altogether. This can be a bigger mistake than patients realize, as we need our full set of teeth for a number of reasons.
If you have implant-supported dentures, you have a full arch of prosthetic teeth that are resistant to decay and staining. So what is the harm in slacking on your brushing habits? What is the real purpose of brushing and flossing if my dental implants won’t get a cavity? If you assume that it’s okay for your dental hygiene efforts to fall by the wayside after you get overdentures, you are making a serious (and costly) mistake.
Implant-supported dentures consist of an upper or lower set of artificial teeth that are firmly secured by a set of dental implants. Some patients have as few as four dental implants to support a full denture arch. Implant-supported dentures, also called overdentures, offer unrivaled benefits towards your comfort, confidence and quality of life compared to traditional removable dentures. One of the best perks is that you can care for your over-dentures just like real teeth. This means brushing and flossing daily as well as seeing your dentist for a routine cleaning and checkup.
Dental implants aren’t just for aging adults or those that have lost their teeth due to infection or decay. An unexpected injury to the mouth can also cause you to lose a natural tooth. While car accidents or a bad fall can lead to an avulsed tooth, sports injuries are also a common culprit. If you or your child has suffered tooth loss during contact sports, you’ll be happy to know that implant dentistry can offer a restored smile. If you have a young child that needs an implant, you may have to wait until their jaw has stopped growing before the implant is placed.
Single tooth implants are an excellent solution to regain your natural smile. In fact, others won’t be able to distinguish your implant from your real teeth. You can care for your implant just like you’ve always cared for your smile, with regular brushing and flossing. Although rare, if you notice signs of infection around the implant, seek treatment from your dentist as soon as possible.
Dental implants are a remarkable solution in restorative dentistry. Patients choose them because they not only look and feel like natural teeth, but they can be cared for in much the same way too. However, dental implants are still not the same as real teeth. Dental implants are more resistant to staining, plaque accumulation and decay, but the gums around the implant need extra care to stay healthy. If the tissues that support your implant deteriorate or weaken, you could be at risk for implant failure.
Just like natural teeth, it is important to prevent issues with plaque, food particles, and potential bacterial infection, as these can all affect the health of your dental implants. Therefore, dental hygiene with implants is extremely important. Both brushing and flossing are non-negotiable components of your oral hygiene routine.
If you need to replace a full arch of teeth, you’re likely faced with two choices: traditional dentures or implant-supported dentures. There are some key differences between these restorative dentistry options, including cost. Dental implants are notably more expensive than removable dentures. However, before you shy away from this option due to money, you’ll need to carefully consider the long-term return on your implant dentistry investment.
When choosing dental implants over traditional dentures, you will reap the following “savings”:
Save on Adhesive Creams
With implant-supported dentures, your dentures are anchored firmly in place with 2-4 dental implants. There’s no need to buy adhesive creams on a weekly or monthly basis. This is a notable savings over time.