Your adult (permanent) teeth are designed to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, bad things can happen to good teeth. Accidents, weakened enamel, and gum disease can all result in teeth needing to be extracted. Missing teeth change how you chew, how you smile, and how you feel about yourself.
If you have one or more missing teeth, don’t feel like you’re the only one. According to the American College of Prosthodontics, “…it is estimated that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.”
That might be at least a little comforting, but it doesn’t change the fact that you may be chewing mostly on one side; that you may be uncomfortable laughing out loud or smiling freely; or that your face has changed its shape since missing teeth no longer support the skin.
Enter Dental Implants
Dental implants have proven to be the superior teeth replacement solution for millions of people.
A dental implant consists of three parts. The first is the implant itself, which is a small screw (usually made of titanium) that’s inserted into the jaw where a tooth is missing. The bone fuses to the implant and anchors it just as firmly as your natural teeth.
Attached to the implant is the abutment – basically a connector – to which the restoration (the replacement tooth, bridge, or denture) attaches. Dental implants return up 90 percent of your original chewing power – dentures only provide about 25 percent – and absolutely will not slip or move.
A single tooth replacement requires only one implant. A bridge may require two implants, and a full arch of dentures is usually secured to four implants. Every mouth is different, so every solution to the problem of missing teeth is unique.
The Implant Process
At Attleboro Family Dental Care, we used advanced 3-D imaging technology to ensure that the underlying bone is thick and strong enough to anchor the implant. For people with less than ideal bone, we can often use mini-implants. We can also use bone grafts and other techniques to restore the bone.
Once the imaging and any necessary bone restoration is complete, your implant process is planned out in every detail. The length of the implant procedure will depend on many factors, so it’s not possible to estimate how long it will take for you. Our doctors will follow your progress once the implant or implants are in place, and imaging will determine when the bone has fully fused to the implants. When that day arrives – and again, the length of time varies – your restoration will be firmly attached to the implant and you’ll have one or more replacement teeth that look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.
You don’t have to live with the discomfort, inconvenience, and embarrassment of missing teeth. Discover what’s possible by scheduling an appointment with one of our implant dentists. Call Attleboro Family Dental Care at 774-225-0618.