Missing teeth can cause problems in addition to making your smile look different and reducing self-esteem. Missing teeth can cause difficulty chewing and speaking, and can cause other teeth to shift out of line.
So what can be done? Well, there are bridges and dentures that can solve the problem, but these options are removable and require extra maintenance, and can sometimes be uncomfortable or ill-fitting, as well as aesthetically unpleasing. Another option is to get dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are permanent replacement teeth, and are made to match your existing teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
They require less maintenance and care than bridges or dentures (you care for them the same way you care for you original teeth), and you don’t have to worry about them slipping out of place or damaging any remaining teeth around them. They are also more comfortable than bridges or dentures.
How is the procedure done?
A replacement tooth root is implanted into your jaw using either local anesthetic or sedation. (While this may sound a little scary, most patients say that getting the replacement root implanted hurts less than having a tooth pulled.) Once that is healed, the replacement tooth is attached to the replacement root. Since the tooth is attached to the replacement root in your jaw, it is permanent. (See our Dental Implant page for more information about the procedure.)
Who are the best candidates for dental implants?
Anyone with missing teeth who is healthy enough to undergo an extraction or other oral surgery is usually eligible for dental implants, but you would need to check with your dental professional to make sure. And, since not all insurance covers the procedure, this may not always be the best option for people who are missing all or almost all of their teeth.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Dr. Dawn Gayken, DDS today!