The Perfect Way to Replace Your Missing Teeth
Dental implants are natural-looking prosthetic teeth that are attached directly to the patient’s jawbone. This results in a very stable restoration, providing outstanding chewing power so you can eat your favorite foods in comfort.
Dentists like Dr. Kenneth Troutman use dental implants to replace any number of missing teeth, even one or both arches. Depending on the type of implants you choose, it typically takes about three to six months to replace your missing teeth with dental implants. In many cases, your dentist can speed up the process using immediate load implants.
For patients looking to restore a whole arch, popular restorations like TeethXpress and All-on-4 make it possible to get a fully functional temporary arch of attractive prosthetic teeth in just one day. Then your dentist will place your permanent restoration when you’ve completely adjusted to the implants. Dr. Keith Cooper says TeethXpress “allows patients to go about their daily life with confidence.”
A single dental implant consists of a titanium fixture that’s secured to an attractive porcelain crown. In most cases, a middle section known as the abutment is used to attach the implant to the crown.
The fixture acts like the root of a natural tooth to hold the restoration in place. Because titanium is a biocompatible material, the bones in your jaw will naturally bond to it over time. This generally takes about three to five months. As soon as you’re ready, you can return to your dentist’s office where they’ll complete the process by adding your restoration.
Restoring More Than One Teeth
When a patient has more than one missing teeth that aren’t adjacent to one another, they can be restored using individual dental implants. But if the missing teeth are next to each other, your dentist may recommend an implant-supported bridge.
The traditional type of dental bridge is supported by attaching it to crowns that are placed over the natural teeth at each end of the gap. Over time, this puts a significant strain on the anchor teeth, and it can even irritate the patient’s gums. Another drawback with this type of bridge is that it’s very difficult to keep the area around the restoration clean, and this increases the patient’s susceptibility to tooth decay and gum disease.
An import-supported bridge eliminates all the negative issues associated with traditional dental bridges. Instead of stabilizing your restoration with dental crowns, dental implants are used to secure a single restoration that contains two or more prosthetic teeth known as pontics.
It takes roughly the same amount of time to place an implant-supported bridge as it does to place an individual dental implant, about three to six months.
Dr. Chad Brown says there are many advantages to replacing missing teeth with an implant-supported bridge. Because “the bone in your jaw actually grows around the implants,” an implant-supported bridge “tends to be comfortable and stable” allowing you “to bite and chew naturally.”
Immediate Load Implants
Regular dental implants are sometimes referred to as delayed load implants because an extended recovery period is necessary following implant surgery before your dentist can attach the final restoration. But some dentists offer immediate load implants — that means the restoration is attached during implant surgery.
You can get immediate load implants much faster than delayed load implants, and you won’t have to return to the dental office for a second procedure. There are some drawbacks with immediate load implants, however. Most notably, one study found that the failure rate with immediate load implants was 2.7 times higher at the one-year point than it was for delayed load implants.
Same-Day Full-Arch Restorations
With same-day full-arch restorations such as All-on-4 and TeethXpress, immediate loading allows the patient to get an attractive new prosthetic arch in just one day. These restorations use strategic implant placement to support a full-arch prosthetic with just a handful of dental implants.
Dr. Mary Sue Stonisch uses four to six implants to replace a whole arch of missing teeth for her patients in Grosse Point Woods, MI. She explains how “a primary advantage of All-on-4 is that you can have all of your missing teeth replaced more economically than other techniques.”
What Are You Waiting for?
Dentistry is a dynamic field with exciting new innovations happening all the time. If you’ve been living with missing teeth, it’s time to find out what your options are. Start today, and you could have a beautiful smile that looks and feels like new before you know it.