Losing a tooth can be a challenging and emotional experience, but it’s important to know that there are several options available for replacing missing teeth and restoring the function and appearance of your smile. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the different options for replacing missing teeth, with a focus on dental implants, which have become a popular and highly effective solution for many patients.
Part 1: Overview of options for replacing missing teeth
- Bridges: A dental bridge is a false tooth that is held in place by crowns on either side of the gap left by the missing tooth. Bridges are a good option for replacing a missing tooth if you have healthy teeth on either side of the gap.
- Partial dentures: Partial dentures are removable appliance that consists of a false tooth or teeth attached to a gum-colored base. Partial dentures are held in place by natural suction or by fitting over your remaining teeth.
- Full dentures: Full dentures are removable appliance that consists of a complete set of false teeth attached to a gum-colored base. Full dentures are held in place by natural suction or by fitting over your gums.
- Dental implants: Dental implants are a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. A dental implant consists of a small titanium post that is surgically placed into your jawbone, and a crown (a false tooth) that is attached to the implant. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, or a full set of missing teeth.
Part 2: Benefits of dental implants
- Dental implants are a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. Once they are placed, they are not removable and they function just like natural teeth.
- Dental implants are strong and durable. They are made of titanium, which is a biocompatible material that integrates with your jawbone and becomes a stable foundation for the crown.
- Dental implants can help preserve your jawbone. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone in that area can start to shrink and deteriorate. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, which helps preserve its strength and density.
- Dental implants can improve your appearance and self-confidence. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, so you can smile with confidence knowing that your teeth look great.
- Dental implants can improve your oral health. Unlike bridges and dentures, which rely on surrounding teeth for support, dental implants do not put any additional strain on your remaining teeth.
Part 3: The process of getting dental implants
- Initial consultation: The first step in getting dental implants is to schedule a consultation with a dentist who is trained in implant dentistry. During the consultation, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums, take x-rays and possibly a CT scan, and discuss your treatment options with you.
- Planning phase: If you and the dentist decide that dental implants are the right option for you, the next step is the planning phase. During this phase, the dentist will create a detailed treatment plan that includes the number and placement of the implants, as well as any preparatory procedures that may be needed, such as bone grafting or sinus lift surgery.
- Surgery phase: The surgery phase involves the actual placement of dental implants. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and is usually completed in one or two visits. The implants are placed into the jawbone, and then the gum tissue is closed over the implants.
- Healing phase: After the surgery, the implants will need to heal and integrate with the jawbone, which usually takes a few months. During this time, it is important to follow the dentist’s instructions for caring for the implants and the surrounding gum tissue and to avoid biting or chewing on the implant sites until they are fully healed. The dentist will typically schedule follow-up visits to monitor the healing process and ensure that the implants are integrating properly. Once the healing phase is complete, the restorative phase can begin.
- Restorative phase: Once the implants have fully healed and integrated with the jawbone, the next step is the restorative phase. During this phase, the dentist will attach abutments (small connector pieces) to the top of the implants, and then take impressions of your mouth to create the crowns that will be attached to the abutments. The crowns will be custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth.
- Final result: Once the crowns have been fabricated, the dentist will attach them to the abutments and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a proper fit and comfortable bite. The final result should be a beautiful, functional set of teeth that look and feel like natural teeth.
We hope you now have a better understanding of the options available and the benefits of dental implants in particular. If you have any further questions or are interested in pursuing dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice. We would be happy to schedule a consultation and help you achieve the smile you deserve.
- Allan Acton, DDS
- Cary Family Dental
Contact Cary Family Dental:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):
915 Kildaire Farm Rd
Cary, North Carolina